Articles :: How to Setup a Simple Network Part 1 - Hardware ::

Niso Levitas · 08-01-2002 · Category: Guides

How to Find and Connect Shared Folders and Printer

Requirements for 2 PCs (Cost as low as $10)

  • 2 x Ethernet Card
  • 1 x RJ45 CAT5 Crossover Cable

Choosing and installing Ethernet Card

The cheapest 10/100 Mbps card I found online was $3. The quality and performance of an ethernet card depends on the network processor and integrated cache memory. Most of the time you will see that, the more performance and cache, the more expensive the card. For a small network, if you are not a bandwidth monster or a power user, it is not very important. It is possible to find Gigabit Desktop Ethernet cards for about $60, but Gigabit switches are still very expensive. If you would like to buy a quality 10/100 ethernet card as opposed to an inexpensive one, it will cost about $30 each.

To install a network card shut down your PC. Find a PCI slot in your system and install the card. I prefer to avoid the first PCI slot next to AGP Slot. In most of the systems, it shares the same interrupt with the AGP slot and you may experience problems. Before turning on your PC, be sure that the driver diskette or CD and your OS Setup CD is ready. When you turn on your system, it will find the new card and ask for the drivers.

Choosing and installing network cables

You may easily find CAT5 Network cables with RJ45 connectors at your nearby computer store. You can buy them in many different colors and lengths. The limit is 100 meters with quality CAT5 cables. When networking only two computers without a hub/switch/router, you have to by a crossover cable. It can be tricky to find. There are eight connections inside a CAT5 cable and it is wired differently for a crossover cable. CAT5 and crossover cables are cheap and they cost a couple of dollars each.

Installation of the cable is kid stuff. Just plug the cable to the ethernet and/or hub till it clicks.

Jump to: Basic Network Setup for Windows XP

Jump to: Basic Network Setup for Windows 98SE


  1. Basic Network Setup for Windows XP
  2. How to Find and Connect Shared Folders and Printer
  3. Preparing Dial-up Connections for Windows XP
  4. Preparing your Ethernet/Router Connection for Windows XP