Why should I network the computers in my home?
- Convenience, so you can share files and/or printers and/or the Internet connection
- Backup, so you can copy critical data files (e.g., your Quicken data) to the other machine for backup
- Computer access, so you can surf the Web while your spouse or kids are doing email or playing games
Basic Networking Questions
Can I use dialup for Internet access and share it with my network?
- Yes. I networked my computer and my son’s for over a year using two network cards and a "crossover cable."
- My computer had the modem that dialed out to our ISP. It dialed automatically when either his computer or mine needed Internet access.
- We could share files and we could both print to one printer.
- Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7 comes with Microsoft’s "Internet Connection Sharing" (ICS) which you can turn on. There are also third-party products designed to do this with more fine-tuning capabilities – e.g., Sygate and Wingate.
Impact on connection speed
the Internet activity of the two computers will affect each other’s apparent speed, since the dialup connection will be the bottleneck.
Can I network and use a cable modem or a DSL phone’line connection?
Of course. One computer will hardly notice the other’s activity.