LockerGnome reader Frank asks, “I have 2 laptops and I want to share my DSL connection without a router. Laptop 1 has Windows 7 and the DSL connection and Laptop 2 has Windows XP. So, what do I need to do to share my DSL conection between the 2 laptops?”
To start, let’s get one thing out of the way. A router is the absolute best way for most home networks to share a connection to the internet. Yes, some advanced users have an old system set up as a home server and basic router, while others have a more complex network of systems and switches. For the majority of users, however, you really can’t go wrong with a router. These have become very inexpensive over the years.
That said, if you still want to accomplish this with two notebook computers and a DSL modem, you can. Each notebook will require a working Wi-Fi card and your Windows 7 machine will also need an open and working ethernet port.
- Connect the DSL modem to the Windows 7 machine’s ethernet port and check connection. If you have access to the web, continue to step 2.
- Open the Network and Sharing Center on your Windows 7 notebook and click on the icon called “”Set up a new connection or network.”
- At this point you’ll begin setting up what’s referred to as an “ad hoc” network. This is a network that is managed by the computer itself without the need of a router.
- Pick a name and enter a security code for your network. The name will be what you look for in the next step.
- In your Windows XP notebook, look for possible connections in the wireless manager. You should see the network you just named after a minute or two.
- Test your internet connection on the XP machine.
Once these steps are completed, you should have a successful network set up between two machines. Keep in mind that additional firewall protection and other features routers provide may not be available on an ad hoc network.
This is a similar setup to a home network established by putting two ethernet cards in a single machine and connecting another machine or a switch to it. It’s not a well managed network, but resources such as an internet connection can be shared across.