There are occasions when knowing how to connect 2 computers together is necessary to get a task done. For example, you may need to transfer some files or resources from your co-worker’s Windows computer to yours.
However, not all of us are aware of how to link two computers for file sharing.
With this in mind, we have shared some common ways of connecting multiple computers that will allow you to share networks, files, or any peripheral device between them.
The process is usually straightforward and requires a few devices like a USB cable, router, or adapter, some basic knowledge of computers, and in some cases, a reliable internet network.
The following part of the article focuses on how to connect computers using a cable.
Table of Contents
How to connect 2 computers together
Using an Ethernet Cable
One of the easiest and most used methods to connect two devices is a direct connection via cable.
Wired connections are usually more reliable and faster for connecting computers for file sharing without an active internet connection.
This will require you to plug one cable into both of the computer’s Ethernet ports.
For this purpose, you can use a LAN cable, USB cable, Ethernet crossover cable, or a null-modem cable.
Most people prefer using an Ethernet connection for sharing data and the internet as it is a highly reliable and stable connection and requires minimal configuration.
Also, it allows you to build multiple computer networks via hub or switch. However, you cannot do all that with a straight-through network cable.
For this purpose, you will need a crossover Ethernet cable of category 5 or later.
Although both regular and crossover cables might look the same to you, the latter has crossed or reversed pairs of wires.
Also, these cables are primarily designed to connect two similar types of devices like printers, computers, etc.
Once you have one of these cables, it is time to follow the next procedure.
Steps for sharing internet between two Windows computers:
- Connect both the computers with an Ethernet cable;
- Press the Windows button on the host computer and open the “Control Panel”;
- In the Control Panel, click on “Network and Internet” and then “Network and Sharing Center”;
- Tap on the “Change Adapter Setting” option on the left side of the window;
- Right-click on the “Wi-Fi” option in the Network connection window and tap on “Properties”;
- Head to the Sharing option and check the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection” box;
- Now, click on the “Select the method you are using to share internet connection” under “Home network connection” and choose the device you are using to share the internet. Since we are using an Ethernet cable, you will have to choose the “Ethernet” option from the drop-down menu;
- Next, select “OK” and then “Yes” to save the previous progress;
- After that, it’s time to change the settings for Ethernet. Right-click “Ethernet” and tap on “Properties” to open the Networking window;
- Double-tap on the “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” to open its properties;
- Check the “Use the following IP addresses” box in the General tab and put the following values in each row. Remember, you are doing it for the host/first computer:
IP address: 192.168.0.1
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
- Once you’re done, click “OK” and get to the second computer to make the above changes to it as well;
- Repeat steps 9 and 10, and this time check both the boxes beside “Use the following IP addresses” and “Use the following DNS server address”;
- Set these values in the IP address window. It will allow the other computer to get internet access via the IP address of the host computer:
IP address: 192.168.0.2
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway: 192.168.1
Preferred DNS server: 192.168.0.1
- Finally, click “OK” to save the changes for the second computer.
Steps for sharing files between two Windows computers:
There may be a time when you want to share files with another computer instead of the network. And, this is when you will have to follow these next steps:
- Start by connecting both computers using an “Ethernet cable”;
Note: You have to do these steps on both the computers simultaneously to configure them properly.
- Press the “Windows” key on both computers and open “Settings”;
- Click on the “Network and Internet” option in the Settings Window;
- Switch to the “Ethernet” tab in the left pane and then click on “Network and Sharing Center” under “Related Settings”;
- Tap on “Ethernet” beside “Connections” on the right side of the screen. If you cannot find the “Ethernet” option there, click on “Change Adapter Settings” on the left side of the screen. The Control panel will open up;
- Right-click on “Ethernet” and then tap on “Properties” in the drop-down menu to open the Networking window;
- Double-tap on the “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” to open up its properties;
- Check the “Use the following IP addresses” box in the General tab and input the following values in each row; Remember, you are doing it for both computers:
Computer 1: 192.168.0.1
Computer 2: 192.168.1.1
Make sure that both IP addresses are dissimilar. Also, don’t modify the subnet mask and keep it as “255.255.255.0.”
The next thing you will need to do is to modify the privacy settings of your connection using the “Local Security Policy” app on your computer. If you are using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise user, you already have this app downloaded. However, if you are a Windows Home user, you can get this app by following these steps:
- Visit this link;
- Scroll down until you see the “GPEdit Enabler for Windows 10 Home Edition” link and click it to download. It should be under the “How to Enable SecPol.msc” section of the article;
- Open and Run the downloaded file and wait for it to process.
Note: The above three steps are only required with Windows 10 Home.
- Search and open the “Local Security Policy” app on both computers;
- Tap on “Click Network List Managers Properties” on the right section of the window;
- Find and double-click “Unidentified Networks” and set the network location to “Private”. Then click “OK”;
Now, share the folder from the host computer using these steps:
- Open “File Explorer” on the host computer and select the folder you want to share;
- Right-click on them and tap on “Properties”;
- Switch to the “Sharing” tab and click on “Share”;
- Choose “Everyone” from the drop-down menu and then tap on “Add”;
- Set the permission level according to your preferences;
- Finally, click on “Share” to start the sharing process.
The last part is to access the shared files on the client’s computer. You can do it in the following way:
- Open “File Explorer” on the client computer and then tap on “Network”;
- Choose the device you want to access and sign in to it;
- Click “OK”. You will now be able to access the shared folder.
Connect two computers wirelessly
If you want to connect your computers wirelessly, be it a laptop or a desktop, the easiest and the most efficient method is to connect them via a home network device.
Here are the two best ways to connect computers wirelessly:
People have become more reliant on wireless connection since it offers incredible speed, and they can connect with other devices in a more practical way.
To establish the best wireless network, you’ll need a dedicated router with good Wi-Fi bandwidth.
After getting a wireless router, you have to connect both your computers together via a network.
And then, you are free to share your files and folders with any device.
In case you don’t have a local network to connect your PCs to, you can build a Wi-Fi instead of using your computer’s network adapter. The network is known as an ad hoc wireless network and can be set up by following these steps:
- Right-click the Start button and launch Windows PowerShell command prompt using the “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option;
- In the PowerShell window, type the command “netsh wlan show drivers” and then Enter;
- Go through the list and find the “Hosted network supported” option. If it says “No”, your current computer doesn’t allow virtual access, and you may have to update the drivers. If it says “Yes”, follow the next step;
- Type or paste “netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allowssid=ahoc key=password” to set up a virtual network; Doing this will replace the previous network with a new one;
- Now, type “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” to launch the ad hoc network;
- Finally, connect to it using the ID you provided while completing the connection.
So, this was all about how to connect two PCs.
Generally, you can utilize a wired connection like Ethernet for sharing your files and network.
You can also rely on wireless devices such as a wi-fi router or adapter for this purpose.
In the end, whatever method you choose is totally up to you.
Check out some of our other awesome articles:
- Hardware devices to connect your network to the internet
- Seeing other computers in a network in Windows 10
- Enabling virtualization in Windows 10
- How to fix Windows 10 night light when it’s not working
- Windows 10: the pros and cons of using it
- Guide to install Windows without losing data
- How can I create a Windows 10 backup image?
- Blocking programs from accessing the internet in Windows 10
- Turning on/off Airplane Mode in Windows 10
- How to run programs as administrator in Windows 10?