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Network Setup basics - For beginners, Dummies

Installing the Hardware

  1. Turn off your computer and unplug it.
  2. Open the case and remove the guard in front of the IDE port you intend to use.
  3. Push the Ethernet card in to the PCI slot and be sure it is firmly seated. Secure it in place with the screw in the face plate.
  4. Replace cover.
  5. Repeat steps 1-5 until all the computers you plan on networking have the Ethernet card installed.
  6. Place the hub in a central location. Plug it in. (Skip this step if you are going to connect to a preexisting network)
  7. Plug a CAT 5 cable into the Ethernet port in each computer and then plug the other end into the hub.
  8. Now power your computer up. Follow instructions on installing the card driver.

Now that you have the hardware setup your ready to setup your network.
There are a few choices here also. You have to decide if you want DHCP or not. There is an up and a down to DHCP. The up is for people who hook their computers up to several different networks. These people are normally those who take one computer to work and then back to their home network or people who enjoy LAN parties. DHCP will auto assign an IP number for you. You don?t have to worry about using one that someone else already has or one that doesn?t work with the network. You don?t have to worry about getting the proper subnet, gateway, or DNS information. On the other side if you are using a DHCP you do have a slower startup. Your computer has to go out and search for all the proper information and also it has to make sure you have an original IP assigned to you. It is also possible that later someone will come with your IP forced on their computer and knock you off until your computer fetches you a new IP. Now if you decide to you can get all the information required and get an IP assigned to you from a network administrator and save your self from getting booted off the network and the slower startup. Unfortunately if you go to another network you have to change all your information and then change it back again. Or in the past you had to setup several network connections. Fortunately for you XP addressed this issue and you can have the pleasure of both worlds. We?ll get into that later for now we will just go with the basic DHCP network setup.

Setting Up Your Network With The Network Wizard

This method will be less complicated and faster but you don?t have as many options and you are forced into DHCP. If you go with this method and later decide you want to change something look it up in the old fashion guide. You should still be able to change the same settings as you would if you set the whole thing up the old fashion way.

  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. Click on Control Panel.
  3. On the left hand side click on Switch To Classic View. If it?s not there your already in classic view.
  4. Double click on Network Connections.
  5. Click on Network Setup Wizard.

  1. Click on Next.
  2. Click on Next.
  3. Click on the first option if your computer has a modem and connects to the internet directly. Click on the second option if the computer is going to connect to the Internet through the network. Other isn?t used in typical network connections so it won?t be covered in this guide.
  4. Click Next.
  5. If the wizard says that it detects more than one connection select the first option so Wndows will select the best connection for you. Then click next.
  6. In the Computer description box enter a brief description for the computer or leave it blank.
  7. In the Computer name box enter a name for your computer. This is how others will identify your computer on the network.
  8. Click Next.
  9. If you are connecting to a preexisting network enter the workgroup name the network administrator gives you in the Workgroup name box. If you are setting up a new network choose a name. This is what the network will be called.
  10. Click Next.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Wait while the computer configures the network.
  13. Select the last option.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Click Finish.
  16. Repeat steps 1-21 until all computers are setup on the network.
  17. Go to the Sharing Folders guide below.

Written By: Michael Holmes
Date: 4-15-04
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