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1st Published, May 2005
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Unfortunately there is a state of confusion that derives from the usage of word Sharing for both Internet Sharing, and File
Sharing the Internet allows you to share one Internet source (account) among few computers. This is usually achieved by using a Cable/DSL Router or a form of software called NAT (like Windows native ICS).
More info on Sharing Internet
Sharing Files and printers among computers that are Networked together is an independent process that can be done regardless of having (or not having) Internet service. If you want to share files between the Networked computers you have to configure the Network's Sharing setting on each computer on the Network, this process is the same for wired or and wireless connection, and has nothing to do with Internet How to set File and printer Sharing? http://www.ezlan.net/sharing.html
A - When you have two (or more) devices that are transmitting and receiving through cable you can use straight cable connection. If you connect straight the transmit output to another devices transmit output put and the receive input to a receive input there would not be exchange of info.
The solution is to invert the cable arrangement inside so that the Transmit output of one device would go to the receive input of the other side. In the networking world such a cable is called cross over cable.
In addition RJ-45 (Network's port) can be wired inside Straight (on a computer) or crossover (on a Router/Switch).
As a result the type of cable that should be used depends on what type of ports you are going to connect
More detailed explanation here: CAT5 Straight, Crossover. What is CAT5, which one should I Use?
The general Rules of Cable connection are:
NIC to NIC - Crossover Cable. (Computer directly to second computer).
NIC to Hub/Switch - Straight Cable. (Computer to Hub/Switch).
NIC to Uplink - Crossover Cable. (Computer to Uplink on a HUB/Switch).
Hub/Switch (regular) to Hub/Switch (regular) - Crossover Cable.
Hub/Switch (regular) to Hub/Switch Uplink - Straight Cable.
Hub/Switch Uplink to Hub/Switch Uplink - Crossover Cable.
Cable/DSL Router WAN Side is an Uplink jack.
Cable/DSL Modem RJ-45 port is the same as a Switch port.
A lot of newer switches and Routers have MDX ports (look at your hardware Data Sheet), if such is the case it does not matter this type of port would adapt to the cable.
A - You get a CAT5 Coupler (Radio Shack is one of the sources).
There are two
types of Couplers.
2. CrossOver Coupler - Makes two Straight patches into a longer Cross over Cable. CrossOver Coupler
Couplers are a good for on the spot solution, and might work well for long time. Eventually you are better of exchanging to one solid cable.
More about network Wiring here: Wiring - I would like to wire my Networked Computers (Home Wiring).
A - Cable
Unplugged is one of the ways that Windows tells you that the computer can not use the Network connection.
1. Check the Network parameters in the Computer’s Device Manager. Make sure that the drivers are installed correctly, there is No IRQ conflict, and No Ghost installation. http://www.ezlan.net/faq#ghost
2. Check the General Network Settings. http://www.ezlan.net/Installing#verify
3. Check (and repair if necessary) the Socket Layers, Winsock, and or refresh the TCP/IP Stack. http://www.ezlan.net/clean#refreshnet
If you need to Re-Install, log to this page it has a lot of links to instructions to Windows Network Settings, and Sharing. http://www.ezlan.net/Installing.html
A - If
you have WinXP and need to configure the computer for two independent connections, Windows let you configure two TCP/IP stacks.
If you do not have WinXP, or need more than two connections, or you are not comfortable with this setting, you can find an Inexpensive Utility that aids you in such a configuration.
A- Click on Control Panel / Network Connection, and right click on the active Local Network Connection to get the properties. Click on the Network Card configuration and choose the working Speed (bandwidth) of the card.
In most cases it is best to choose the Auto Mode.
However if you
are sure that all your components are 100Mb/sec. capable and part of your Network seem not to be capable working at the right
“Speed”, you can try to force 100 Full (or duplex).
A - Most up scaled new
Motherboards are sold with two onboard Network Cards; many times, it is 1Gb/sec.
The following can be done with
regular computers that use Entry-Level hardware and running client OS (like
While keeping the same local IP is a good idea for all Networked devices it is an utmost need in case of Networked Devices that are used by all the computers on the Network (Network Printers, or Networked Storage units).
If the IP of the devices mentioned above changes often the Network would work slow down and sometimes the devices would not be found at all.
In general there is two ways to assign a specific IP to a specific computer, printer, or other Network device.
1. Assign a static IP in the Device's TCP/IP Properties.
2. Use a Router that can do IP reservation within the DHCP (aka Static DHCP). Static DHCP means that the network device can be set to Auto Obtain IP and it would be always assigned with the same IP number.
If your Router can do Static IP, the computer's TCP/IP properties should be set to Auto Obtain IP, and the Router can be set to provide a specific IP within the DHCP range to be reserved for a specific computer/device according to the computer/device's MAC address. Read your Router’s manual for the specific setting.
Please note that providing this feature is not common to all Routers.
As an example most of Netgear Routers can do DHCP Reservation, while most old Linksys Routers cannot.
If this is an important feature read the Router’s manual before you buy. Almost all Routers manuals are available as pdf download on the manufacturers support site.
Note. Static IP, DHCP, and Static DHCP can be use at the same Router as long as the Static IPs are not within the range of the DHCP server (Read your Router manual to find what is the default setting of the DHCP).
When a user changes Network name,
computer name, or and relocates a computer from one Network to the other,
residual annoying icons (links) might stay around, leading to Nowhere and
Important: Only Drives that were set correctly to be shared across the Network can be mapped. If you have Sharing problems, this might help: Sharing Disk Drives on Windows Network.
- Mapping a Drive through the Network allows you to treat the drives of other computers on
the Network as though there are additional drives on your computer.
Floppy, CD-ROM, ZIP, and USB drives can be similarly be mapped too.
Q - How to map a Drive?
A - Log to Windows Native Help, enter the term Map a Drive and it will guide you through the easy process of Mapping, or and disconnecting Network Drive.
The simplest way
would be to transfer a 10MB file between two computers and measure the time.
As a frame of reference these are some of the expected “Speeds”: Transfer Speeds
below is considered the unofficial Standard for Network traffic. You use it for both Wire and or Wireless. It does not matter
whether it is Wireless or Wired since your Interest is in measuring the functional traffic and not the medium.
Q - Use USB device on the network.
A - Regular USB has two types of connections at the two sides of the cable that connects to the device.
1. Master Side that is plugged to a Computer and in order to process the traffic it needs the computer’s CPU and other part that are on the computer’s motherboard. The master side is usually the familiar rectangular large USB plug.
2. Client side, the sides connect to the peripheral device (Printer, Camera, mouse, etc. The plug is usually square or very small rectangular. Some small devices like Wireless thumb card do not use a cable and thus includes only the plug for the computer side.
It is not a matter of plugs compatibility, even if you find an adaptor that changed the size and the gender of the USB plug, the device needs to connect according to its original design.
As an example, plugging a USB Wireless card was designed to connect to a computer to a printer would not make the printer Wireless since the Card was not designed to work with the electronic circuitry of a printer.
There are special propriety USB
adaptors that are built with inside emulation of the computer USB circuitry
(which usually makes them more expensive) and therefore can be plugged into a
None computer device that it was designed for.
USB printer server would work only with printers; it can Not be used to convert other USB devices to be Ethernet Network compatible.
To interface with a computer the USB device needs drivers, since you can not install the drivers on a passive hardware card as you install them on a computer, the drivers need to be incorporated within the device's firmware. That restricts the general use of the unit (I.e. you can not install in firmware all the drivers of every USB card that is available now on the market, and would be available in the future).
I addition the peripheral
device itself has to be Network capable.
Q - Can I share my computer's attached scanner with other computers on the Network?
All in One (AIO) units are posing a challenge as Network Devices.
All in One unit that is Network Ready can be connect with a network cable to any port on the Network (Some models can be made Wireless too by fitting it with a Wireless Client device that is used for game boxes), and all the functions can be used by all Networked computers.
If the unit is a regular unit (I.e. Not Network ready), it can only be connected directly to a single computer, or can be fitted with 3rd party printer server card, and connected to the Network.
However, all the
functions of the AIO would be available only if it connected to a single
computer, and only to the Single computer itself. Otherwise in any other
scenario only the printer part
would be sharable over the Network. There are 3rd party devices
Software/Hardware that can turn a regular All in One unit to be Network capable
with all of its features,
however these devices are more expensive than buying a New inexpensive Network
ready AIO unit.
On the computer that the printer is connected to, log to Control Panel / Printer and Faxes, Right Click on the Printer to be shared, click on Sharing, check Share this printer and give it short simple name.
Make sure that you have the Printer Drivers on hand.
On the computer, that does not have a printer, log to Control Panel / Printer and Faxes, Click on Add a Printer, click next, and choose to install Network Printer, continue with the Wizard as instructed.
Firewire can be used to network computers and exchange files.
You need Windows
Motherboard has Firewire capacity Windows would install the Firewire as a Protocol upon boot (It appears as
1394 Network Connection).
This page lists all the mediums that are Network capable in Windows.
A - Software Firewall intercepts the
TCP/IP traffic, since most of Windows Networked computers use the TCP/IP protocol for local file sharing it might intercept and
block the LAN’s traffic too.
Example: Trusted Zone Screen Shot
The above is a Screen Shot of the Menu in NIS 2003 there might be variation of the process in other versions but the principle is the same.
The same applies to any software Firewall. It might use terms like Allows, Trusted etc. you might find the way to set the “Trusted Zone” by looking at the Firewall’s Help menu under the Local Network (LAN) section.
If you do not know how to obtain your Network’s IPs this might help.
Using IPCONFIG and or Winipcfg (Wntipcfg). Utilities to find IP and MAC address, and other Local Network Info.
A – Ghost installation is an
unofficial term that is used by computer hobbyists to describe a none function (failed) installation of a Hardware device in
When you first install Windows or and add a Hardware device, Windows would first search its own data base and will install the appropriate driver for the device. If Windows does not find a suitable driver it will prompt you to point to the driver location. If you do not point to the suitable driver, or you abort the installation, a None Functional Entry would appear in Windows Device Manager. To indicate the problem a Yellow exclamation mark would appear next to the Device entry.
This yellow exclamation mark is called “Ghost Installation”.
Similarly if the correct driver was
supplied but there is resource conflict that is created by the Hardware the “Ghost” will appear in the Device Manager.
Screen Shot of Network Card Ghost: http://www.ezlan.net/network/GhostNIC.jpg
What to do?
A - To get your Network info.
Run the program, in few seconds it will show you
all the computers on the network, MAC addresses, pings, shares, and more (make
sure to look at the Options Menu, and check all the options that would like to
As far as Network traffic is concerned it is a
more complicated issue.
Note: Most small Networks are configured around Cable/DSL Router, unfortunately, Entry Level Cable/DSL Routers do not provide the capacity to read the traffic that passes through.
A - Many people have a computer that is used
by one person and feel that they can forgo the Logon process. There few
ways to go about it. One of these is to use Microsoft TweakUI. TweakUI is a free
Power Toy utility that can be downloaded from Microsoft. Among many other
helpful enhancement, Tweak UI allow Auto Logon that can easily made Active, or
In active if necessary. It looks like this,
A - When Windows is freshly installed, the Local Area Connection number would be #1. However, every time a deletion reinstallation etc. is done to the Network Card, the number changes upward. Therefore, even if there were only one connection it would look like this, http://www.ezlan.net/example/lan_num.jpg (says #7, but I have only One).
Functionally this "miss
numbering" does, means anything and it does not affect the Network components.
For some users it causes an imaginary problem, however, the problem is human
Psychological Distraction rather than a computer/network issue.
The end might result with a “Trashed” system. So the best advice is “Let it Go”.
A - TCP/IP Connection
Click on the Details button and see this, http://www.ezlan.net/example/lan_details.jpg
Q - Router or Switch, what do I need?
A - A Switch is used to
connect few computers together. If you do not need to share Internet Connection and you are building a Network you need a
A – Look around for bargains and do not be surprised if you
would find that a Wireless Cable/DSL Routers are less expensive than a Wire Only Routers.
As for Wired Routers, which brand? It does not really matter,
for regular use get the cheapest that you can find.
A - Yes you do. A Cable/DSL NAT Firewall provides only partial one way (Internet In) protection. To insure Global protection of your computer/network you need to add the comprehensive capacity of good software Firewall.
More here: Basic Protection for Broadband Internet Installation - Routers and Firewalls.
As a frame of reference, the best “Speed” of Dialup is 53Kb/sec. that would yield about 6KB/sec. of optimized download.
“BAD” lines might reduce the Speed so
it is recommended to make sure that you have a Good line from the NID (the Telco
line in box) to the computer.
Example: Bonded Dialup Service.
If you would like to Network and
share Dialup, and or use Wireless this might help.
Would I get faster Internet if I subscribe to one of these services that “promise” Dialup that is fast as DSL?
When you subscribe to the service, you get an
account and you do all your Internet activities through their Server. Since all
your traffic goes through their server they, can selectivity cache and compress
part of the files that are involved in the surfing process.
Hardware wise Computer’s ports are always Open.
Closing Ports is done with a Software Firewall or and a Cable/DSL Router.
There are applications/games that work on your computer and need to interact with the Internet, or and your LAN. Each application might use specific ports that need to be open so that the application can access the Internet/Network.
To make sure that the ports are not blocked on your Local Network (LAN) Read this: http://www.ezlan.net/faq#trusted
Application's Ports are Specific to each application and you would find the info. on the application/game manual or support site.
The way to open ports is specific to each Router, or and Software Firewall. You have to look at the software/device manual to find the instructions.
XP SP2 comes with a Software Firewall installed and Switched On. I.e. The ports are closed by default with Windows native
Firewall. If you disable the Firewall all the ports are going to be open but you would not be protected from Internet attacks.
Q - Adding Wireless to a Wired Network.
A - To add Wireless to an existing Network you need to buy an Access Point and
plug it to an available RJ-45 port on a switch/hub or Wired Cable/DSL Router.
A - One of the confusing aspects related to the world of Networking is the use of the same terminology to describe unrelated or partially related functions.
The term Wireless is used to
describe: Wireless LAN, Wireless Internet, Wireless Phone, Wireless keyboards/mice, etc.
Most confusing is the issue of Wireless Internet, it is usually
describing the way the Internet service is obtained rather then a specific
nature of the technology.
A connection to an Ethernet Network (usually from a Wireless Cable/DSL Router Access Point) is the only form of Wireless that is similar to regular Wireless Network (802.11x), all the others are independent types of technology that not related to consumers Networking hardware.
In other word if you want to Network with Wireless you need to make sure that you get a 802.11b. or 802.11g or 802.11n system.
This web site is dedicated to Networking therefore you would find extensive info about Wireless LAN here: http://www.ezlan.net#wireless
SSID is necessary for proper Wireless function. and need to be set On.
Regardless of the status of SSID, any serious intruder can use free widely available sniffers and will find your Wireless connection.
Disabling SSID makes you partially invisible to innocent
For more technical info concerning WinXP and the changes in Vista, see here, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/evaluate/hiddennet.mspx
Wireless cards come in variety of flavors.
What shell I use?
More about Wireless here: http://www.ezlan.net#wireless
A – When looking at the available Wireless Networks, many people see additional Wireless connections that do not belong to them in the Wireless Network display. The tendency is to react with a combination of Anger and or Fear feeling that there might be an invasion to our privacy.
Wireless Signals are propagating through the air like any other "Radio" signal.
If you do not want to use the
Wireless connection at all and your computer came configure with active
Wireless, switch it Off.
Otherwise Secure your Wireless to the Max. that your Wireless hardware allows.
The probability that some one would actually
be able to log and use your Wireless
Network if the Wireless Security is
adequately set is extremely low.
There are few Entry Level Wireless Gizmos that have settings to eliminates the display of the unwanted sources from the list; it is an artificial arrangement to make people feel good, programs on your computer can not eliminate the real presence of the transmission in the air.
A - If your Wireless
connection works OK using Windows Wireless Zero Configuration, and you do not
have a Wireless connection Icon in the Tray Bar.
Click Start /Run Type into the Run box: control ncpl.cpl
A - Yes, Technically you can. However, if you do not have at least one Wired connection to the Router you might not be able to configure the initial connection, and if the Wireless for some reason stop working, you would not be able to connect to your Router in order to Fix it.
Therefore it is Highly recommended to connect at least one computer via wire to a regular RJ-45 port on the Router so you can configure the Wireless Router.
Bear in mind that though the same word Security is used to describe Secure Internet Connection and Secure Wireless from a Computer
functioning perspective there is No relation between the two.
A - For basic smooth Internet
surfing a wireless signal that maintains a bandwidth of 1-2Mb/sec. is needed.
A - Many people seem to
experience sudden interruption of their LAN Wireless connection.
If none of the above helped place the Wireless Computer next
to the Wireless Router/Access Point, disable the Wireless security and
reconfigure the Wireless Connection from scratch.
The next Standard of WIFI Wireless 802.11n is in the Final Process of to Hopefully be published toward the end of 2007.
During 2005-6, few manufacturers made offers of Wireless Hardware released under the label of pre-N, or Draft-N, or MINO like.
This hardware is Not going to be upgradeable to the final 802.11n standard.
Many people ask about the performance of the preN as compare to 802.11g.
Wireless range is highly dependable on the specific environment so take the following number with a “Ton of Salt” (as oppose to a grain of salt).
Judging by the current per-N
Typical 802.11g at 10’ = 22Mb/sec. Pre-N = 30.3 Mb/sec.
Typical 802.11g at 60’ = 15Mb/sec. Pre-N = 25.7 Mb/sec.
Typical 802.11g at 120’ = 5Mb/sec. Pre-N = 19.8 Mb/sec.
Typical 802.11g at 160’ = 1Mb/sec. Pre-N = 8.9 Mb/sec.
Since the MIMO devices, were rushed out to cash on consumer impatience there is only Basic Routers, and Client Cards. Take into consideration that the whole gamut of other Wireless Devices that are needed for flexible configurations are not currently available in MIMO, and the future devices would not be compatible with the current one.
A set of preN, Wireless Router and one Card can cost $180 - $250.
Routers are just mediocre 802.11g units unless you buy the expensive matching
preN card. If you have a laptop or other computers with pre-installed 802.11g
cards, there is No benefit from a preN Wireless Router.
I rather buy a good 802.11g for less than $40, and "Ditch" it later, instead of spending $100 for the Router, and close to $100 for every additional card, that would be obsolete in short period of time when the 802.11n standard comes out.
* Your Mileage might vary under certain situations, the extra distance provided by some of the preN can provide immediate solution to an acute problem.
A - Wireless hardware from different
manufacturers might produce a different Hex string when using the same ASCII
A - This type of activity might be produced in few ways. You have to find the source ant try to terminate it.
1. Internal activities related to
the computer management system that are done while “Resting”, like Indexing, updates, backups etc., or some rouge Process or and
program that are busiest at rest time.
Q - How can I get a link to switch between the cool Vista 3D Open Windows choice.
A - Click on the Vista Start button and type into the Start Search box the following line.
A Window would open with an icon to Windows Switcher. Drag/send a Short Cut of this icon to a location of you choice.
You can find much more pages on the issue of security in this website main page.
More FAQ would be added on a weekly bases.
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