How to Network Two Computers Together Using Windows 11/10

When you have multiple machines at your desk, seamless file sharing can make work easier. Connect two computers wirelessly is simple, but a wired connection offers better speed. Transferring several gigabytes of data at slow speeds can consume a lot of your time. If you want to know how to link two computers together, we’ll give you a few options that offer great speeds.

Wired connections with an Ethernet cable can be very fast and ideal when you want to transfer large files. A pocket-friendly Ethernet cable like Cat 5e can provide connection speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, and some other cables can transfer data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

However, you can also opt for other, slightly slower options if you don’t have a crossover Ethernet cable lying around. For example, USB 3.0 can allow transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps, so it still works great for transferring large files.

The thing is, you may need to tweak the settings a bit on both PCs you want to transfer files between. If you’re wondering how, that’s what we’ll walk you through in this article.

How to Network Two Computers Together Using a Crossover Ethernet Cable

Using a crossover Ethernet cable is the best choice for fast connectivity between computers. Find an Ethernet cable and connect each end of the cable to the PCs you are trying to connect.

  1. First, you need to enable network sharing on both PCs. Search for this check from the Start menu and select Control panel† Then select Network and Internet
  1. Select Network Center
  1. Select Change advanced sharing settings from the left panel.
  1. Now expand the settings for the Private profile, assuming you only want to share files over your home or work network. Select radio buttons next to Enable network discovery and Enable file and printer sharing† Then select Saving Changes
  1. Since you are not connected to LAN, you also need to configure the IP address for each computer. To do this, go back to the Network and Sharing Center and this time select Change adapter settings
  1. Right click on the Ethernet adapter and select Properties
  1. Double click on Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  1. Select the radio button next to Use the following IP address:† Use the following configuration.

For the first computer:

IP address:

Subnet Mask:

Default Gateway:

Preferred DNS server: empty

Alternative DNS server: empty

For the second computer:

IP address:

Subnet Mask:

Default Gateway:

Preferred DNS server: empty

Alternative DNS server: empty

Select Okay when done.

  1. You are now ready to share files and folders. Go to the folder you want to make accessible on another computer, right click and select Giving access toSpecific people
  1. Select the user you want to share the file with, select To addand select the Part knob.
  1. The settings discussed so far should be applied to both PCs. When you’re done, launch File Explorer and select Network from the left pane. You should see the other PC here.
  1. Double click on the name of the PC and you will see the folder you shared there.

How to network two computers together via LAN

If you don’t have a crossover Ethernet cable, you can still transfer files over a LAN connection with a regular Ethernet cable. Once connected to a LAN, the process is exactly the same as with a crossover ethernet cable, but you may not need to assign a static IP address to the computers, so you can just do steps 5 through 8. to skip.

If you don’t want to jump through all those hoops, you have the option of using a third-party tool like IP messenger for transferring files over LAN. You must install the utility on both PCs. When you are done, launch the utility. You will see the PCs connected to the same LAN, provided that IP Messenger is installed.

  1. Select the down arrow on the right side of the window and select Attach file/folder
  1. Navigate to the file or folder you want to share, select it and click the Select knob.
  1. Select a PC to which you want to send the file from the list and select Send

How to network two computers together with a USB

To transfer files between computers via USB, you need a USB-to-USB bridging cable. The thing is, depending on which cable you have, the details of the process may be slightly different. However, the general steps in the process remain the same.

The first thing you need to do is install the software that came with the USB to USB cable. If the package did not contain installation media, the USB cable probably has a built-in utility that enables file transfers. If not, you will need to download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Connect one end of the USB cable to each of the computers.
  2. Most USB bridging cables have two LEDs placed somewhere on the cable. When your computer is successfully connected, you will notice that the LEDs indicate that. For example, this is what the pluggable USB bridge cable looks like:
  1. Once done, use the USB cable manufacturer’s utility to transfer the files. This is where the process differs between manufacturers, but it is usually simple.

Wired connections enable lightning-fast transfers

Once you connect both PCs with a wired connection, you can transfer files much faster than over a wireless network. If you don’t happen to have a crossover Ethernet cable or USB bridge cable, you can still use your LAN to share files over a wired connection.

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