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1st Published, Dec. 2004

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How I connect two computers to exchange files?

Option 1:  Pure Ethernet.

Install Network Interface Card (NIC) in each computer (PCMCIA NIC a Laptop) and Connect them with CAT5e Crossover cable. (Total cost about $15 between Desktops, $35 between Desktop to Laptop).  The connection can run at a speed of 100Mb/sec.

You need to configure both computers to form a Network, and then switch On file Sharing.

Instructions for Network configuration.


Option 2:  Mixed connection (Ethernet, and USB).

Let say that your Desktop has already NIC. Your Laptop has a USB port and you don't want to buy PCMCIA network card. You can plug a USB to Ethernet unit into the Laptop, and then connected the two computer via CAT5 crossover cable. (Total Cost about $30)

Speed of transfer depends on the type of USB.

USB1.1  will yield a Transfer of 11Mb/sec.

USB2.0 will yield a Transfer of 480Mb/sec.

Example: EZ CONNECT COMPACT USB 10/100 CONVERTER.

You need to configure both computers to form a Network, and then switch On file Sharing.

Instructions for Network configuration.


Option 3:  USB Direct.

Important - Never connect a regular USB to USB cable between two computers, the result may be one or two fried Motherboard.

Get a USB Direct Connect Module, it is a USB cable that has a special Network module installed on it. This Module act as a "NUll" connection and isolates the 5Volts lines between the two computers. 

Example: USB2 to USB2 File Transfer Cable.

Connect the two computers with the special cable through the USB ports; install the Drivers and your are Connected.

You need to configure both computers to form a Network, and then switch On file Sharing.

Instructions for Network configuration.

USB1.1  will yield a Transfer of 11Mb/sec.

USB2.0 will yield a Transfer of 480Mb/sec.


If you use USB2.0 Special Cable both computers have to be USB2 capable. Otherwise it will default to USB1.1 and yield transfer 11Mb/sec. (Total cost about $20-$30).


Option 4:  Direct Cable Connection.

This type of connection uses a cable to connect two parallel printer port (LPT), or two serial ports (COM.).  It is the most inexpensive, but the slowest, and the most awkward. (Cost about $10).

You can find settings info here.  Direct Cable Connection.


In sum.

The Easiest - Option 3

The Cheapest - Option 4

The Practical - Option 2

The fastest with elegant look for the future - Option 1


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