If you want to network multiple computers and allowing them to access internet then here is the procedure.
- DSL Broadband internet connection.
- A broadband router or a modem. (Recent routers has one INTERNET port and four LAN ports)
- A switch (8 ports or 16 ports) or hub (8 ports or 16 ports).
- CAT5 cables (Category 5 cabling standards used for high speed networking) with RJ-45 connectors on both side.
- Two or more desktop computers for networking.
- All the computers should have network card (also called as ethernet card).
- Connect the broadband cable to the router or modem. Connect to INTERNET port if router is used.
- Considering you are connecting six computers on network using eight port switch, take six individual CAT5 cables measuring the distance between each computer and the switch and one CAT5 cable measuring the distance between switch and the router.
- If the router has one INTERNET port and four LAN ports and you are connecting only four computers to network, then there is no need of switch or hub. Connect individual CAT5 cable between each computer and to each port of the router.
- Plug one end of the CAT5 cable to any port of the switch and the other end to the INTERNET port of the router. Connect individual CAT5 cable between each computer and to each port of the switch. For example, connect one CAT5 cable to router 's INTERNET port and 1st port of the switch then connect 2nd port of the switch to 1st computer, 3rd port of the switch to 2nd computer and so on till 7th port of the switch to 6th computer.
- If you are using eight ports hub for networking the six computers, connect one end of the CAT5 cable to INTERNET port of the router and to the UPLINK port of the hub. Connect individual CAT5 cable between each computer and to each port of the hub. For example, connect one CAT5 cable to router 's INTERNET port and UPLINK port of the hub then connect 1st port of the hub to 1st computer, 2nd port of the hub to 2nd computer and so on till 6th port of the hub to 6th computer.
- After connecting all computers to network the major part is configuring the network. Get the IP address of your router or modem, DNS server address from your internet service provider.
- To configure network settings, go to "START" and click on "RUN" or hold "WINDOW" key and press "R" and type "ncpa.cpl" and press ENTER key to open NETWORK CONNECTIONS window. You should be able to see LOCAL AREA CONNECTIONS icon in the window. If not the ethernet card drivers will either be corrupt or not installed. Right-click on LOCAL AREA CONNECTIONS and click on PROPERTIES. Select "INTERNET PROTOCOL (TCP/IP)" from the list and click on PROPERTIES button. If you are assigned IP address dynamically then don't make any changes to the default settings. If assigned static IP address then Click on "Use the Following IP address" and type the IP address of the router or modem in box next to "Default Gateway". Assign IP address manually. Usually the first three boxes in the IP Address will be same as that of Default Gateway. You have to change only the last box number to other than assigned to Default Gateway. Never assign Default Gateway address to IP address. Below that select "Use the following DNS server address" and type the DNS servers address as provided by your internet service provider and click on OK and close all the opened windows.
- Go "START" and click on "RUN" or hold "WINDOWS" key and press "R" and type "cmd" and press ENTER key to open command prompt window. Type “ping <ip address of the router>” without quotes to check the connectivity between the computer and router. You should get reply from router. If not then there should be problem with either your network settings or with the CAT5 cable. Type “ping www.google.com” without quotes to check the internet connectivity. You should get reply from router. If not then there should be problem with either your internet service provider or network settings or with the CAT5 cable.