Setting up a LAN?


W

W. eWatson

A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they need?
 
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B

Bob Henson

W. eWatson said:
A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they need?
I have a pair of power line adapters that would be one way to do that.
These are the ones I use, but there are many others.

http://amzn.to/1aenohq

A short ethernet cable connects each computer to each plug, and they can be
plugged in anywhere in the house that is on the same mains ring. The ones I
bought are literally plug and play. I use them mainly for connecting my TV
satellite box to the computer on two different floors on the house. Watch
out for the maximum speeds - the most expensive are not always the fastest
connection. I didn't pay as much as the price in the advert, and they will
no doubt be even cheaper in the USA.


--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England

If all seems to be going well, you obviously have no idea what is really
happening.
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per W. eWatson:
Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they need?
I think most of the hardcore users would say that hard-wired Ethernet is
the best route and I've got Ethernet running here, there and everywhere
in my house, yard, and even the garden shed.

Having said that...

Depending on the difficulty of running the Ethernet cable, I might think
about an el-cheapo WiFi/USB dongle for each PC - assuming the router has
WiFi built in to it. Seems like we're talking $20-$50 there:
http://tinyurl.com/opjracr

Even if the router didn't, I still might consider that solution and
either buy a new router or buy a WAP (looks like a router, but it just
serves as a WiFi connection point.... plugs right into a router).

I go that route for my Android tablet and my laptop PC and it works fine
for me. Even streaming video is OK as long as it is not HD.
 
P

Paul

W. eWatson said:
A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they
need?
You've left out a few details. If they're using a router, it could be
that the router support for various network standards, would be good information
to know.

*******

Now, this setup is still pretty common, like in rural areas.

DialUp
Networking --- first pc ------------------- second pc
56Kbit/sec

First PC - runs "Internet Connection Sharing". First PC must
be powered, for Second PC to be able to browse the web.

The hardware connection in this case (as suggested by your other
answerers) could be: Ethernet to Ethernet (cable under house),
USB Wifi adapters in Adhoc Mode, or HomePlug [PLC] powerline
network adapters that use the AC wiring for networking.

*******

If the person is on broadband, their setup looks like this.

Broadband ----- first pc ------------------- second pc
Modem
(Cable/ADSL)

You can use ICS for this case too, and the same solutions as
in the first case above. A person adds their second PC like that,
out of ignorance of the benefits of using other solutions. And
the First PC would need a second Ethernet card, if you wanted
to wire everything with Ethernet. I ran like this for a short
time, and broke down, and bought a router :) [Cheapskate...[

*******

But more likely, the person uses an integrated broadband modem/router
box. With the router portion in the picture, "everybody connects
to the router". The router I/O options need to be studied.

Broadband ----- router ---- first pc
Modem \
(Cable/ADSL) \_____ second pc

If the router has Wifi, you use Wifi (USB Wifi Adapters).
The Wifi adapters run in their Normal mode.

If the router has Ethernet ports, you can use Ethernet.
There are HomePlug adapters that can "bridge" your
physically inaccessible crawl space, like this.

Broadband ----- router ---- first pc
Modem \
(Cable/ADSL) eth\_____ HomePlug - - - - - HomePlug ---- second pc

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833289001

Depending on the age of the modem/router, some of them are "half
a solution". There were some modems, with both a USB port and an
Ethernet port. That style allowed two computers. You'd use the USB
port for the First PC, and the Ethernet port for the Second PC.
So there are some older broadband modems, that effectively have
a two port router inside, one port over USB, the other port
via Ethernet.

And if a Third PC showed up, you'd buy a switch. I use an Ethernet
GbE switch, for file transfers between PCs at 117MB/sec max. So
my setup actually uses three boxes, like this. This is a setup that
evolved over time, with no effort to consolidate boxes. This is...
a waste of electricity.

Broadband Modem --- Separate router --- GbE Switch --- First PC
(built-in router \
disabled, runs \___ Second PC
bridged mode)

The First and Second PCs can talk at up to 117MB/sec. The connection to
the Internet would be limited to 12.5MB/sec, by the separate router
having 10/100BT ports. But it was cheaper than buying a whole
new router, with GbE ports on it and so on. In fact, the GbE switch
was cheap enough, I paid more for a set of Ethernet cables, than for
the switch itself.

So there are lots of solutions, and if you want to do a good job
for your friend, you'd look pretty closely at their modem and router
boxes, as they may dictate a better solution. You also want to hook them
up, so that connecting Third PC and Fourth PC, is not traumatic. I.e.
don't make them buy hardware, that only needs to be thrown away
when additional devices (even a streaming Ethernet or Wifi TV set)
show up.

In "lightning country", Ethernet is a liability in any case. And even
if routed in a crawl space, you could blow out the Ethernet ports on
a nearby strike. If you live in such a place (Florida), Wifi is your
friend. If you must run Ethernet over long distances, like out to your
barn from the main house, consider fiber optics for safety. The power
in the barn could still get hit, so nobody's perfect (powerline hit takes
out PC). If your cow was on the milking machine when that happened,
your cow could tip over :)

Paul
 
J

Juan Wei

W. eWatson has written on 7/11/2013 1:31 PM:
A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they need?
Powerline ethernet?
 
P

Philip Herlihy

A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they need?
If that's a full statement of your requirements (no router present for
broadband, and no other computers involved) then all you need is a
simple crossover cable. You can buy a 10m or (to get some slack) 15m
'normal' cable and use a simple crossover converter if you can't easily
get a crossover cable of the right length.

Then you need to allocate both computers different addresses on the same
subnet, and make sure any firewalls 'trust' that subnet range.

I'd suggest the following settings:

Computer addresses: 192.168.9.101 and 192.168.9.102, both with 'subnet
mask' set to 255.255.255.0.

I picked those addresses to be less likely to conflict with addresses
which may later be automatically allocated by the introduction of a
router - the most common address ranges for bog-standard routers are
192.168.0.x and
192.168.1.x

Wireless can be dodgy over any distance if there are intervening walls
(your mileage may vary). Powerline will often work, depending on the
electrical system, but I've not tried it without a router present to
allocate addresses automatically. Powerline also makes you the instant
enemy of any radio amateurs nearby.

What most people do is to use a router (part of the device which
connects to the broadband service) which allocates addresses in the same
range automatically whether the computers are connected by cable or
wireless. Crossover connections are only needed when connecting
computer directly to computer.

HTH
 
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C

Char Jackson

If that's a full statement of your requirements (no router present for
broadband, and no other computers involved) then all you need is a
simple crossover cable.
If the two computers have Gigabit interfaces, a straight through cable will
almost certainly work. He hasn't said if that's the case, though.
You can buy a 10m or (to get some slack) 15m
'normal' cable and use a simple crossover converter if you can't easily
get a crossover cable of the right length.

Then you need to allocate both computers different addresses on the same
subnet, and make sure any firewalls 'trust' that subnet range.
If the two computers are running moderately recent OS's, then APIPA
(Automatic Private IP Addressing) will give them addresses that will allow
them to see and communicate with each other. In that case, there'd be no
need to mess with IP addresses.

<rest of good info snipped>
 
P

Philip Herlihy

If the two computers are running moderately recent OS's, then APIPA
(Automatic Private IP Addressing) will give them addresses that will allow
them to see and communicate with each other. In that case, there'd be no
need to mess with IP addresses.
Interesting - I've never paid any attention to these addresses. What's
the earliest they appear in the useful form you describe?
 
W

W. eWatson

W. eWatson said:
A friend has two computers that he would like to have them communicate
with one another. One is an HP desktop that is about 3 years old, and
the other is a 4-5 year old Toshiba laptop. They are in two separate
rooms about 30' apart. Neither has a wireless connection. Both have
ethernet ports. If they use ethernet cable, they will need to put the
cable in a crawl space under the house.

Is a LAN the best way to go, or is there another way for this simple
arrangement? If they use cable, is their some intermediate device they
need?
You've left out a few details. If they're using a router, it could be
that the router support for various network standards, would be good
information
to know.

*******

Now, this setup is still pretty common, like in rural areas.

DialUp
Networking --- first pc ------------------- second pc
56Kbit/sec

First PC - runs "Internet Connection Sharing". First PC must
be powered, for Second PC to be able to browse the web.

The hardware connection in this case (as suggested by your other
answerers) could be: Ethernet to Ethernet (cable under house),
USB Wifi adapters in Adhoc Mode, or HomePlug [PLC] powerline
network adapters that use the AC wiring for networking.

*******

If the person is on broadband, their setup looks like this.

Broadband ----- first pc ------------------- second pc
Modem
(Cable/ADSL)

You can use ICS for this case too, and the same solutions as
in the first case above. A person adds their second PC like that,
out of ignorance of the benefits of using other solutions. And
the First PC would need a second Ethernet card, if you wanted
to wire everything with Ethernet. I ran like this for a short
time, and broke down, and bought a router :) [Cheapskate...[

*******

But more likely, the person uses an integrated broadband modem/router
box. With the router portion in the picture, "everybody connects
to the router". The router I/O options need to be studied.

Broadband ----- router ---- first pc
Modem \
(Cable/ADSL) \_____ second pc

If the router has Wifi, you use Wifi (USB Wifi Adapters).
The Wifi adapters run in their Normal mode.

If the router has Ethernet ports, you can use Ethernet.
There are HomePlug adapters that can "bridge" your
physically inaccessible crawl space, like this.

Broadband ----- router ---- first pc
Modem \
(Cable/ADSL) eth\_____ HomePlug - - - - - HomePlug ---- second pc

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833289001

Depending on the age of the modem/router, some of them are "half
a solution". There were some modems, with both a USB port and an
Ethernet port. That style allowed two computers. You'd use the USB
port for the First PC, and the Ethernet port for the Second PC.
So there are some older broadband modems, that effectively have
a two port router inside, one port over USB, the other port
via Ethernet.

And if a Third PC showed up, you'd buy a switch. I use an Ethernet
GbE switch, for file transfers between PCs at 117MB/sec max. So
my setup actually uses three boxes, like this. This is a setup that
evolved over time, with no effort to consolidate boxes. This is...
a waste of electricity.

Broadband Modem --- Separate router --- GbE Switch --- First PC
(built-in router \
disabled, runs \___ Second PC
bridged mode)

The First and Second PCs can talk at up to 117MB/sec. The connection to
the Internet would be limited to 12.5MB/sec, by the separate router
having 10/100BT ports. But it was cheaper than buying a whole
new router, with GbE ports on it and so on. In fact, the GbE switch
was cheap enough, I paid more for a set of Ethernet cables, than for
the switch itself.

So there are lots of solutions, and if you want to do a good job
for your friend, you'd look pretty closely at their modem and router
boxes, as they may dictate a better solution. You also want to hook them
up, so that connecting Third PC and Fourth PC, is not traumatic. I.e.
don't make them buy hardware, that only needs to be thrown away
when additional devices (even a streaming Ethernet or Wifi TV set)
show up.

In "lightning country", Ethernet is a liability in any case. And even
if routed in a crawl space, you could blow out the Ethernet ports on
a nearby strike. If you live in such a place (Florida), Wifi is your
friend. If you must run Ethernet over long distances, like out to your
barn from the main house, consider fiber optics for safety. The power
in the barn could still get hit, so nobody's perfect (powerline hit takes
out PC). If your cow was on the milking machine when that happened,
your cow could tip over :)

Paul
Interesting about the lightning country. I live in the Sierra
Foothills, and my friend lives in the SF Bay Area. August fairly often
brings lightning storms here in late August and early Sept. Something
for me to consider even though I use underground ethernet cable.
 
W

W. eWatson

If that's a full statement of your requirements (no router present for
broadband, and no other computers involved) then all you need is a
simple crossover cable. You can buy a 10m or (to get some slack) 15m
'normal' cable and use a simple crossover converter if you can't easily
get a crossover cable of the right length.

Then you need to allocate both computers different addresses on the same
subnet, and make sure any firewalls 'trust' that subnet range.

I'd suggest the following settings:

Computer addresses: 192.168.9.101 and 192.168.9.102, both with 'subnet
mask' set to 255.255.255.0.

I picked those addresses to be less likely to conflict with addresses
which may later be automatically allocated by the introduction of a
router - the most common address ranges for bog-standard routers are
192.168.0.x and
192.168.1.x

Wireless can be dodgy over any distance if there are intervening walls
(your mileage may vary). Powerline will often work, depending on the
electrical system, but I've not tried it without a router present to
allocate addresses automatically. Powerline also makes you the instant
enemy of any radio amateurs nearby.

What most people do is to use a router (part of the device which
connects to the broadband service) which allocates addresses in the same
range automatically whether the computers are connected by cable or
wireless. Crossover connections are only needed when connecting
computer directly to computer.

HTH
This could work well for my friend. He's pretty much a novice.
 
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C

Char Jackson

Interesting - I've never paid any attention to these addresses. What's
the earliest they appear in the useful form you describe?
I'm not sure. It feels to me like it has always been that way, but APIPA had
to start sometime. Someone else probably knows. Let's see, I don't remember
using it with Win 98 but I do remember using it with XP.
 
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