Networks for Homes and Small Businesses

Jerry Castillo,, and
Gerhard Ruf,

© Copyright 2001
updated 11 Aug 2002


    When you have more than one computer at home or in a small business, setting up a peer-to-peer network is the most efficient way to share files and printers. This is more effective than using diskettes or buying multiple printers. A Network also allows you to backup files from one PC to another. You can also set up the network to share one Internet connection between the computers. This class assumes that Windows 95 or a later operating system is installed on your PC.

Why Set Up A Network?

Preliminary Considerations

  1. Type of Network to setup
    1. Peer-to-Peer networks are simple to setup. Each PC acts like a Client and a Server.
    2. Client-Server Networks require more sophisticated server software.

Physical Connection Options

What to Purchase

  1. Install an Ethernet Card in each PC to be connected (MACs can also be connected)
    1. speed 10Meg or 10/100 Meg (10 Meg is sufficient for up to 10 PCs)
    2. interface ISA or PCI (depending on which bus connection is available in your PC)
    3. if it is a "plug and play" card it will install itself the next time you power up the PC
    4. Recommended manufacturers - 3COM, DLINK, LINKSYS
  2. Install Ethernet Cable (use Category 5 twisted pair cable rather than coax cable)
    1. If you are connecting two PCs just purchase a cross-over cable.
    2. If you are connecting more than two PCs purchase straight thru cables.
  3. If connecting more than two PCs purchase an Ethernet Hub or Switch.
    1. Some are set for a specific speed. (less expensive)
    2. Some will handle either 10M or 100M on each port.
    3. Get one with the number of ports you need, plus a few for expansion (4, 5, 8, 16, 24)
  4. Setup and configure each PC's operating system to use the network

Setting up a Peer-to-Peer Network (overview)

  1. Get into Network Neighborhood Properties from the Desktop (3 methods)
    1. My Computer/Control Panel/Network, or
    2. Right Click on Network Neighborhood/Properties, or
    3. Start/Settings/Control Panel/Network
  2. Under the Configuration tab the following items will need to be installed (if not there already)
    1. Client for Microsoft Networks
      • click on Add/Client/Add/Microsoft/Client for Microsoft Networks/OK
    2. An identifier for your Ethernet card
      • click on Add/Adapter/your cards manufacturer/the card identifier/OK
    3. Dial-Up Adapter (if a modem is installed)
      • click on Add/Client/Add/Microsoft/Dial-Up Adapter/OK
    4. NetBEUI (if no Internet sharing is desired)
      • click on Add/Protocol/Add/Microsoft/NetBEUI/OK
    5. TCP/IP (if Internet sharing is desired)
      • click on Add/Protocol/Add/Microsoft/"TCP/IP"/OK
      • click on TCP/IP ->Ethernet card identifier
      • click on the Properties button
      • in the TCP/IP Properties box (IP Address tab)
        • select Specify an IP Address ( - are valid for a local network)
        • type a subnet mask (
      • in the TCP/IP Properties box (Gateway tab)
        • type
        • click on the Add button
      • in the TCP/IP Properties box (DNS Configuration tab)
        • click on Enable DNS
        • enter any name in the host field (server)
        • enter any name in the domain field (
        • enter the IP address(es) provided by your Internet Service Provider into the DNS Server search order field, clicking the Add button after each number is entered.
      • in the TCP/IP Properties box (Bindings tab)
        • enable Client for Microsoft Networks
        • enable File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks
      • in the TCP/IP Properties box
        • click on OK
    6. File and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks
      • click on Add/Service/Add/Microsoft/File and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks/OK
    7. In the Primary Network Logon window
      • select Windows Logon (no password required on power up), or
      • select Client for Microsoft Networks (enables password on power up)
    8. Click on the File and Print Sharing button and click the features you want enabled.
  3. Under the Identification tab
    1. Type in a Computer name (This identifies your computer to others on the network.)
    2. Type in a Workgroup (Make this the same for all the PCs in a small network)
    3. Type in a Computer Description
  4. Under the Access Control tab select either
    1. Share-level access control (This is the least restrictive.) or
    2. User-level access control (more protection available, more complicated to set up)
  5. Click on OK
    1. You may need your Windows 9x CD to allow some files to be installed.
    2. You will need to restart your PC for these features to be enabled.

Setting up the PC for Network Printer Sharing

  1. On the PC with the printer attached:
    1. Enable Printer sharing in Network Neighborhood
  2. Click on Printers in Control Panel and right-click on the Printer to be shared. Select Sharing.
  3. On the other PCs (with the network up and running):
    1. In Control Panel/Printers click on Add new printer and install a network printer
    2. Browse for the location of the printer
    3. Selecting the printer starts the loading of the necessary printer drivers
    4. Print a test page

Accessing or Moving Files between PCs

  1. On the PC whose files will be shared:
    1. Enable File sharing in Network Neighborhood
    2. Access the drive(s) and/or folder(s) through My Computer or Windows Explorer
    3. Right click on the drive or folder to be shared
    4. Select Sharing ... from the menu that appears
    5. On the Sharing tab click on Shared as
    6. Type in a Shared name: "Dad's C drive" (appears on the other PCs)
    7. Type in a Comment
    8. Select the type of access allowed
      • Full access is least restrictive
      • Read only access will not allow other PCs to modify the file or drive
    9. Select a password, if desired
    10. Click on the Apply button
    11. Click on the OK button
  2. On the PC which will access the file(s)
    1. Find the file(s) using Network Neighborhood (from Desktop or individual programs)
    2. Some programs will require the Mapping of the drive/folder to a drive letter for access.
      • Right click on the drive or folder from Network Neighborhood
      • Select Map Drive and assign a drive letter
      • If Reconnect at logon is checked, access is faster, but the other PC must be on first

Sharing an Internet Connection


Appendix A: Installing a missing Windows 9x feature

    Instructions for installing ICS on your PC.
  1. Start/Settings/Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs/
  2. Windows Setup Tab/Internet Tools/Details/Internet Connection Sharing
  3. Follow the prompts.
  4. You may need your Windows 9x CD.


Appendix B: Helpful Web Sites

Internet Connection Sharing
How to Use a Macintosh Computer with Internet Connection Sharing
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition Icsrm.txt File Contents
Doug's Networking Pages
DUX COMPUTER DIGEST (Guides/Netwokring and Internet Sharing)


  1. Install a NIC into a desktop PC in the lab.
  2. Setup Network Neighborhood Properties on a desktop or notebook PC.

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