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How to Setup Local Area Network

Computer networking enables you to share the data and resources with the other network users.  You can communicate with the other people in your home or office, send and receive files, share internet connection and printer, play games, listen to music and share the multimedia experience with the other users. Today no business is successful without fulfilling its data, voice and video communication requirements. No office work can be performed efficiently where there are more than two computers.

 

Setting up a computer network requires the little technical knowledge and the required software and hardware tools.  There are three main types of the computer networks i.e. LAN (within an office), MAN (within city) and WAN (within two cities or two countries).  In this article, you will learn that how to setup LAN in your home or office.  The first step is to identify your requirements and based on these requirements you need to purchase the following software and hardware devices.

 

Software/Hardware Requirements

  • Computers with LAN Cards.   (Number of computers is based on the number of users).
  • Hub or Switch.  (Switch is recommended and the number of ports in the switch is related to the number of computers in your network.
  • UTP/STP Straight Cable. Each piece of cable is required between a computer and the hub/switch.
  • DSL Router to share the internet with the computers.
  • Windows based operating system CDs (Windows 2000 Professional is recommended for the client computers) and Windows 2000/2003 Server is for the Server computer.
  • All other required software.
 

A LAN can be configured in a variety of ways as mentioned below.

  • Peer to Peer
  • Client/Server

In the Peer to Peer there is not centralized server and each computer acts as a workstation.  Peer to peer is ideal for the scenarios where security is not the major concern.  In the client/server networking, there is a centralized server, which act as a domain controller and it provides the user authentication and other resources and privileges to the client computers.  All the client computers are dependent on the server for the resources and services.

Configurations

The following configuration steps will tell you that how to setup peer to peer network.

  • After installing the Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional on all the computers, you need to install and configure the LAN cards.
  • Make a straight network cable and attach one end of it to the computer and one end to the hub/switch.
  • In most of the cases Windows 2000 Professional/XP Professional has built-in drivers for the LAN cards.
  • Click Start > Services > Control Panel > double click network connections.
  • Right click the Local Area connection > Click properties and in the general select TCP/IP and click Properties.
  • In the TCP/IP Properties select this option “Use the Following IP Address” and provide the IP address and subnet mask.  The IP addresses should be of the same series like 100.100.100.1, 100.100.100.2, 100.100.100.3, 100.100.100.4 and 100.100.100.5 etc. one for each computer.  The subnet mask will be automatically selected when you will press the tab.
  • Click Ok and click all the open Windows.
  • Now, you need to provide the unique computer names and same workgroup name to all the computers.
  • Right click My Computer on your desktop and click Properties.
  • In the Network Identification or in the Computer name provide your unique computer and in the Workgroup provide the same workgroup name and click Ok.
  • You will be prompted to restart the computer.
  • You’re done.
  • Now you can share your files and folders with the other users in your home or office network.

 

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