networking windows ME computer and windows XP computer

Discussion in 'Windows Networking' started by Korey Ham, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Korey Ham

    Korey Ham Guest

    Trying to setup a home network, and don't know the first
    thing about it! Any help appreciated.

    Current computer, in my roommate's bedroom, running
    Windows ME with high-speed cable internet and printer.

    I just got a computer, running Windows XP Professional (my
    bedroom). I want to network the two computers together so
    I can access internet/printer without having to have my
    own separate account/connections. I called my ISP (ATTBI,
    now Comcast) and got it set-up on their end so we now have
    two different IP addresses available so I can have two
    network connections.

    I don't know the best way to connect the computers
    together without having wires running all throughout the
    apartment. Our bedrooms are on opposite ends of the
    apartment. The two options (that I know of) are wired and
    wireless. I don't know if wirless will work since two
    computers are not in that close of proximity to each
    other? if the connection speed will be slower because of
    wireless? of if I will have problems with losing the
    connection all of the time. Also, even if it is wireless,
    don't you still have to have the two computers wired into
    the central transmitter somehow?

    The second, wired, option is good except I don't know how
    to do it without having cable running through the house.
    I know there is some sort of a phone-line adapter that you
    can get which allows you to plug two computers into
    different wall jacks and network that way. But, once
    again, I know absolutely NOTHING about that, what
    equipment I would need, etc.

    Finally, don't know what types of
    hardware/software/additional equipment I need in order to
    make this all work? Is having one computer with Windows
    XP and the other with Windows ME going to cause problems?

    In the end, with all of the additional equipment I may to
    buy, install, etc., it may be cheaper just to get a
    completely separate cable internet connection installed.

    I want the easiest and cheapest solution, with giving up
    the least amount of internet connection reliability or
    internet connection speed.
     
    Korey Ham, Jul 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. Richard G. Harper [MVP Win9x], Jul 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. I second Richard G. Harper's suggestion to do some reading on
    networking web sites. The www.wown.com site is the most comprehensive
    source of Windows networking information that I know of. I've written
    several articles on www.practicallynetworked.com . Another good site,
    run by the former proprietor of PracticallyNetworked, is
    www.smallnetbuilder.com .

    All versions of Windows can network with each other. Having ME and XP
    is fine.

    ATTBI didn't tell you about what's probably your best solution: using
    a broadband router to share one IP address between both computers.
    They want you to get two IP addresses and pay an extra monthly fee for
    the second one.

    A router would connect to the cable modem and to both computers. The
    computer connections can be wired, wireless, phoneline, or powerline.
    I've used all of those types in my own network and in networks that
    I've installed for my consulting clients. Here are my observations
    and opinions:

    1. All of the connection types that I've listed are faster than the
    fastest cable modem connection.

    2. Wired Ethernet is the fastest, least expensive, and most reliable.
    If you can run cables easily, it's usually the best choice.

    3. Compared to wired, wireless is more convenient, more expensive, and
    more trouble-prone. It should be usable within a range of 50-75 feet
    in most buildings, depending on the number and composition of the
    walls, floors, and ceilings that the signal goes through.

    4. Phoneline networking has little to recommend it, and I wouldn't be
    surprised if it dies out. It's the most trouble-prone of all those
    types.

    5. Powerline networking has had a bad history (slow, expensive,
    unreliable) and is little known, but current models (no pun intended)
    using the HomePlug 1.0 standard have been 100% reliable in my
    experience.

    If either of the computers is a laptop, wireless is by far the most
    convenient type of networking. I'm writing this message on my laptop
    computer while sitting on my front porch. My wife is in the basement,
    surfing the web on her laptop. Our cable modem connection comes into
    a room on the main floor.

    If both computers are desktops, I'd seriously consider powerline
    networking. For example, the Siemens SpeedStream 2510 is a powerline
    DSL/cable router. One computer (in the same room) can connect to it
    using wired Ethernet, and the other one (in a different room) can
    connect to it using a powerline Ethernet bridge like the SpeedStream
    2502 or Netgear XE102.
     
    Steve Winograd [MVP], Jul 8, 2003
    #3
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