How To Network Computers

A computer network is made up of 2 or more computers connected by a common communications link so that data, resources and peripheral devices can be shared between them. Although there are different methods for creating a computer network, wireless networks have become the standard in recent years, both at home and in the office. This is because a wireless network eliminates the need for a direct or physical connection between each computer or device on the network. An “ad-hoc” network also can be used to provide a temporary connection between 2 computers or internet-enabled devices. This wikiHow teaches you how to network computers.

Setting Up a Wireless Computer Network

  1. 1 Obtain the necessary equipment to create a computer network. In order to set up a wireless network, you will need internet service, a modem, and a wireless router, or a combination router/modem device which is called a gateway. You may also need 2 or 3 ethernet cables. 2 Obtain the router’s default user name, password, and IP address. You’ll need this information to log in to your router’s user interface. This information can be found in the User’s manual for the router, or the manufacturer’s web page.
  2. 3 Connect the modem to a live internet connection. Your internet service provider will need to install an internet connection at your home or business for you to access the internet. The type of internet connection that’s available depends on your location. The 3 main types of high-speed internet services are cable, DSL, and fiber optic:[1]
    • Cable: Cable uses the existing cable television infrastructure to provide cable internet. Connect the coaxial cable that your cable internet service provider installed to the coaxial input on the back of the cable modem or gateway.
    • DSL: DSL uses existing phone lines to provide high-speed internet. A DSL modem connects to the internet using a standard phone line. Connect a phone line from a phone jack to the DSL line on the back of the modem.
    • Fiber optic: Fiber optic internet is the newest and fastest form of high-speed internet. The infrastructure for fiber optic is not available in all areas. Depending on how the service is installed at your home or business, a fiber optic cable may be installed by your internet service provider which you can connect directly to the modem, or it may be connected to a media converter which then connects to your modem or gateway device using an ethernet cable. Connect the ethernet cable to the internet or WAN port on the back of your router or gateway device.
  3. 4 Connect the wireless router to the modem. Connect one end of an ethernet cable to the back of the modem. Then connect the other end of the ethernet cable into the internet or WAN port on the back of the wireless router.
    • If you are using a combination router and modem gateway device, you do not need to connect it to any other routers.
    • Make sure both your modem and router are plugged in using the AC adapter that came with them.
  4. 5 Connect a computer to the wireless router. Use an ethernet cable to connect a computer or laptop to a LAN port on the router.
    • Plug in the power source for the modem, then plug in the power source for the wireless router. Wait a few moments for the devices to boot up.
  5. 6 Enter the router’s default IP address in the address bar of a web browser. This opens the login page for the router’s user interface. Check the user’s manual that came with the router, or manufacturer’s web page to find the default IP address. Common IP addresses include, and
  6. 7 Log in to the router’s user interface. Use the default username and password to log in to the user interface. Consult the user’s manual or manufacturer’s web page to find the default username and password. Common usernames and password are “admin”, “password”, “12345”, or leaving the field blank.
  7. 8 Locate the Wireless SSID name and password section. Each router model has a different user interface. You may find the SSID and password field in a menu labeled “Wireless”, “Wi-Fi”, or “Wireless Network.”
  8. 9 Create a name for the network. The SSID is the name of the network that you and your guests will use to log in to your Wi-Fi network. Enter the name you want to use as the SSID in the SSID field.[2]
  9. 10 Select a security mode for the network. The options typically will be limited to “none,” “WEP”, “WPA”, “WPA 2.” WPA 2 is the option most often recommended because it offers stronger encryption and therefore greater security than WPA.
  10. 11 Enter the password. Enter a password in the field that says “Password”, “Network key”, or something similar.
  11. 12 Save your changes. Locate the button to save the changes you have made in the router’s user interface and click the button to save your changes. Your router may need to restart.
  12. 13 Connect other devices to your network. Use the following steps to connect other devices to your wireless network:
    • Open the network settings menu or click or tap the wireless icon which usually resembles a dot with arching lines over it.
    • Select your wireless SSID.
    • Enter the wireless password.
    • Click or tap Connect.

Method 2 Creating an Ad-hoc Network In Windows 10

  1. 1 Click the Start icon . It’s the icon with the Windows logo, it’s in the lower-right corner of the taskbar. This displays the Windows Start menu.
  2. 2 Type cmd. This displays the Command Prompt in the Windows Start menu.
  3. 3 Right-click Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator. This opens the Command Prompt as an administrator.
    • You must be logged in to Windows with an account that has administrative privileges to run Command Prompt as an administrator.
    • If asked if you want to allow Command Prompt to make changes to your system, click Yes.
  4. 4 Type netsh wlan show drivers and press ↵ Enter. This shows your network driver properties.
  5. 5 Check the status next to “Hosted network supported”. If it says “Yes”, continue to the next step. If it says “No”, try update your wireless network adapters. Enter the previous command once again in Command Prompt. If it still says “No” next to “Hosted network supported”, your network adapter doesn’t support ad-hoc networking.
  6. 6 Type netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow. This is the start of the command to create an adhoc wireless network. Don’t press “Enter” just yet. You still need to add the network name and password to the command.
  7. 7 Type ssid= followed desired name of the network. This creates a name for your ad-hoc network.
  8. 8 TYpe key= followed by the desired password. This creates a password that other users need in order to connect to the ad-hoc network.
    • If doesn’t accept your password, try deleting the equals (=) sign.[4]
  9. 9 Type netsh wlan start hostednetwork and press ↵ Enter. This starts the ad-hoc network. As of now, the network may not appear when you search for a nearby network, but you can still enter the network name and password to connect to the network manually.
  10. 10 Open the Control Panel. Use the following steps to open the Control Panel:
    • Click the Windows Start icon.
    • Type “Control Panel”.
    • Click the Control Panel icon.
  11. 11 Navigate to the Network and Sharing Center. Use the following steps to navigate the network and sharing center:
    • Click Network and internet.
    • Click Network and Sharing Center.
  12. 12 Click Change adapter settings. It’s in the menu bar to the left.
  13. 13 Right-click your ad-hoc network and click Properties. This opens the properties menu.
  14. 14 Click the Sharing tab. It’s the second tab at the top of the Sharing menu.
  15. 15 Click the checkbox next to “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”. It’s the first option at the top of the Sharing menu.

Method 3 Creating an Ad-hoc Network on Mac

  1. 1 Turn off all sharing capabilities. As of the release of macOS 10.10, there is no longer an option to create a password for an ad-hoc network. It’s recommended that you disable all sharing capabilities on your Mac and turn on the macOS Firewall before creating an ad-hoc network. Use the following steps to disable sharing:
    • Click the Apple icon in the menu bar.
    • Click System Preferences.
    • Click the Sharing icon.
    • Uncheck any checked checkboxes in the Sharing services menu on the left.
  2. 2 Turn on the macOS Firewall. Use the following steps to enable the macOS firewall:
    • Click the Apple icon in the menu bar.
    • Click System Preferences.
    • Click Security & Privacy.
    • Click the Firewall tab.
    • Click the lock icon in the lower-left corner.
    • Enter your Mac password.
    • Click Turn On Firewall.
  3. 3 Click the WiFi icon located . It’s in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.
  4. 4 Click Create Network. It’s near the bottom of the pull-down menu.
  5. 5 Enter a network name. Use the field next to “Network Name” to create a name for your network.
  6. 6 Select a channel. Use the drop-down menu next to “Channel” to select a channel. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are good choices because they don’t typically overlap with other channels
  7. 7 Click Create. This creates a new ad-hoc network. You can connect to your ad-hoc network on other devices by selecting the network name in the network connection


Computers can be networked through the following means:

Connect Two Computers Directly With a Cable

The conventional method to network two computers involves making a dedicated link by plugging one cable into the two systems. You need an Ethernet crossover cable, a null modem serial cable or parallel peripheral cable, or special-purpose USB cables.

Ethernet Connections

The Ethernet method is the preferred choice as it supports a reliable, high-speed connection with minimal configuration required. Also, Ethernet technology offers the most general-purpose solution, allowing networks with more than two computers to be built later. If one of your computers possesses an Ethernet, but the other has USB, anEthernet crossover cable can be used by first plugging a USB-to-Ethernet converter unit into the computer’s.

Serial and Parallel Connections

This type of cabling, called Direct Cable Connection in Microsoft Windows, offers lower performance but the same basic functionality as Ethernet cables. You may prefer this option if you have Ethernet cables readily available, and network speed is not a concern. Serial and parallel cables are never used to network more than two computers.

USB Connections

Ordinary USB 2.0 or newer cables with Type-A connectors can connect two computers directly to each other. You may prefer this option over others if your computers lack functional Ethernet network adapters.

To make dedicated connections with Ethernet, USB, serial, or parallel cables requires that:

  • Each computer has a functioning network interface with an external jack for the cable.
  • The network settings on each computer are appropriately configured.

One phone line or power cord cannot be used to directly connect two computers for networking.

Connect Two Computers With a Cable Through a Central Infrastructure

Rather than cable two computers directly, the computers can be joined indirectly through a central network fixture. This method requires two network cables, one connecting each computer to the fixture. Several types of fixtures exist for home networking:

  • Ethernet hubs,switches and routers.
  • USB hubs.
  • Phoneline and powerline wall outlets.

Implementing this method often entails an additional up-front cost to purchase more cables and network infrastructure. However, it’s a general-purpose solution that accommodates any reasonable number of devices (for example, ten or more). You will likely prefer this approach if you intend to expand your network in the future.

Most cabled networks use Ethernet technology. Alternatively, USB hubs work well, while powerline and phoneline home networks offer a unique form of central infrastructure. The standard Ethernet solutions are generally reliable and offer high performance.

Connect Two Computers Wirelessly

In recent years, wireless solutions have increased in popularity for home networking. As with cabled solutions, several wireless technologies exist to support basic two-computer networks or more computers for desktop computers that has no inbuilt network interface card,there is need to purchase a wireless network adapter,once you switch on the wireless router,all computers with the wireless adapter will receive the network.and will be connected.

Wi-Fi Connections

Wifi connections can reach a greater distance than wireless alternatives. Many newer computers, especially laptops, contain built-in Wi-Fi capability, making it the preferred choice in most situations. Wi-Fi can be used either with or without a network fixture. With two computers, 

Bluetooth Connections

Bluethoot technology supports reasonably high-speed wireless connections between two computers without the need for a network fixture. Bluetooth is commonly used when networking a computer with a consumer handheld device like a cellphone.

Most desktop and older computers do not possess Bluetooth capability. Bluetooth works best if both devices are in the same room in close proximity to each other. Consider Bluetooth if you have an interest in networking with handheld devices and your computers lack Wi-Fi capability.

Infrared Connections

Infrared networking existed on laptops years before either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technologies became popular. Infrared connections work between two computers, do not require a fixture, and are reasonably fast. Being simple to set up and use, consider infrared if your computers support it, and you lack the desire to invest effort in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

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