LANs at home?

at home we have 3 computers and I would love to network the computers together to share the internet, files and such, but I am not quite sure of all the steps. I am a very computer-literate high schooler, so I won’t have problems understanding. What steps do I need. It can’t be as simple as putting NIC cards in and running ethernet cable to the hub, can it? what else do I need to do? also have any dopers put a LAN in at home?

i am special. i am cool. i am doper 3000!

Actually, it can be that simple if you’re running Win 95/98.

On Win 95/98, when you install the NICs, they will generally install the TCP/IP protocol automatically. Hook up to the hub, and you’re hardware is communicating.

After the hardware hookup, you’ll probably want to share some resources (folders, entire drives, printers, etc.) on at least one of the systems, otherwise you don’t get much use out of the network. Enable sharing on any one PC by going to network properties (right click on Network Neighborhood) and select the “File and Print Sharing” button. Choose to share files and/or printers, and click Ok a couple of times. You’re PC will be need to be re-booted before the share will be effective. After the re-boot, you can mark folders, drives, or printers to be shared using Windows Explorer or My computer (look carefully at the share authority when sharing files, folders, or drives).

There are other options you can get into, but that is usually enough to get you into a basic home network.


If you are running CAT3, I would suggest using NetBEUI as your in home protocol just because it is faster than TCP/IP. Leave TCP/IP on you machine with the Internet connection and then install some sort of Proxy software.

That is what I did and I could tell a difference. When I upgraded to CAT5 I switched to TCP/IP on all machines since I had plenty of speed.



Yes, using Win 95/98 is fairly easy.

I have two desktops and a laptop. My main desktop has two NIC cards. One for the network and the other for the cable modem. I use ICS on the Win 98 SE to do my internet connection sharing. Another product is WinProxy and there are others.

I use CAT5 cabling connected to a 10 MBps hub. (To use more than two computers you need a hub unless you are running coax in a series which I would not recomend).

You can pick up 10/100 NICs for $20 or less if you keep an eye out. Hubs are a little more and it depends on if you want auto-sensing or what.

I can send and receive files between them quite easily. The sharing of an internet connection is fairly easy too. You really need cable modem or ADSL to share properly, I would not want to share a dial-up though they claim you can.

Other than that it is pretty simple.


You don’t even need the hub if your NICs have BNC connectors (look kinda like a pipe sticking out of the card). With this type you just buy two segments of thinwire, three barrel connecters and two terminators at your local compusa and plug them all in. Bang. Run Netbeui unless you need to share internet resources through a proxy. I think to install netbeui with 95/98 all you have to do is install the microsoft networking client. Incidentally, if you have a cable modem you can often get IP addresses for each computer from DHCP instead of proxying. To do this of course you’d need to use a hub since cable modems all use the RJ-45 connector.

If you do buy a hub buy the cheapest you can find. There is no point in having 100 megabit speeds between workstations.

got a home network sharing one ISP using Jana Proxy. Good proxy but skimpy documentation. But all my kids are doing email, browse, and AOL-IM at the same time!

My brother and I have two computers, and I have a laptop, connected through a $50 router by nic cards and ethernet cable. I have an isdn modem on my computer, through which the rest surf.

I’m using WinGate for a proxy server. It works very well, and it’s not difficult to set up. Download it from Tucows.

I’m surprised no one mentioned I.P. addresses. My brother and I had to use local network numbers (those in the 192.168.1.* range), but once those were in place, everything worked fine.

Never attribute to an -ism anything more easily explained by common, human stupidity.

Sharing resources on a home Lan would be ideal for you. Setting up a home network is not that hard. Make sure to give all your computers the same workgroup name.

Win98 2nd edition on the computer with the modem, will allow you to share one internet connection. All earlier versions required the purchase of software to share the internet connection.

Here’s a faqs page that will help you out.

If he has NetBEUI bound to his home LAN NIC and TCP/IP bound to his Dial UP Adapter/ADSL or Cable Internet NIC, then he shouldn’t have to deal with assigning IP address to any of his machines. The ISP will assign the IP address for his Internet connection through DHCP. Then use the proxy software to share the connection to his other machines (which would be using NetBEUI). This is the way I did it and it gave me the least ammount of headache.



How hard can it be if a deaf person like me can do it? ALways get a hub. Don’t do it without a hub. Period. Hey, I used a Netgear set, $70.00 has everything to link 2 computers [can do more]. Hub hub hub, get one net gear comes with it.