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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant


A Beginners Guide to
Local Area Networking for Win9x.

How to... Create a LAN with Win9x.

Page 1 Introduction and Overview

by: John Holstein


This is a brief introduction into a simple network configuration between at least two Win95/98 computers. This paper is written for the beginner and is not intended for advanced users. Although there are several things I could ask for prior to setting up a LAN on two machines, such as a fresh installation of Win9x, I understand that it is not possible in all cases. We will therefore start from your current configuration, which is Win9x being preinstalled and running on your machine.


There are several things you must have in order to have a network on two or more machines, the most important being a ETHERNET Network Interface card, hereafter referred to as "NIC" cards or just plain "NIC's". These ethernet cards can be either 10 or 100 Mps (Megabits per sec), doesn't matter, however, if you use 100 Mps they will cost more, and may require special 100 Mps components which will be discussed later. You can purchase these Ethernet NIC's at most computer stores, online or through Ebay from $5.00 to $150.00 each, for home use, the cheap ones usually work ok. You can also use BNC Adapter Cards, which will be discussed in the BNC Section of this paper below.

Secondly, you will need, for twisted pair (RJ-45, looks like over-sized phone jacks) networking, a Ethernet Network Hub. This is where some people develop trouble with their LAN's. They try going straight "Peer-to-Peer" or from one computer, straight to another with a patch cable (a short, 6' or so, twisted pair cable with a RJ-45 Jack on each end) without going through a Ethernet Hub. Though this is possible with a BNC LAN, it is not advisable on a twisted pair network (see also: Crossover Cables). The Ethernet HUB can be from 2 to 100 ports (or more) and can cost from $20.00 to $2000.00 +.

I would assume that most computer stores have the small LAN Ethernet Hubs, I recommend Intel, CISCO, or 3Com, but there are a variety of good ethernet hubs out there, which ever you choose should work ok.

You need to determine how many computers you are going to network, that is the number of ports on the ethernet hub you will need.

Third, the twisted pair jumper cables (assuming this installation is somewhere around 25' ft or so) with RJ-45 (large phone jacks) on each end. They come in a variety of colors and lengths, all dependant on your needs. You need to determine how many computers you are going to network, that is the number of cables you will need.

That's all the supplies you need to get a LAN going. All these components, when purchased should run you no more than $40.00 for a two computer LAN.

Continue to Page 2


Comments? Questions? Bugs? Email:John Holstein

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