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Can I have wired and wireless networks side by side?


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#1
rogerbid

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Hello there,

I am in need of expert advice and am confident that someone here will give me some assistance!

Briefly, I have a home wireless network which is functioning well, and allows me to connect my own desktop PC (Win7), my wife's laptop (Win7), an old desktop PC (XP) and my son's netbook (Win7). So far so good.

My potential problem concerns the old desktop PC which is running XP and my son's Windows 7 netbook. My son has moved out of the parental home and is taking the old desktop and his netbook. My question is: Can I use a network cable to connect the Win7 netbook and the XP desktop without making any changes to the current wireless settings? I want to ensure that when my son visits with his netbook he will be able to reconnect with the home wireless network (for internet access and printer sharing etc) and this is why I dont want to do anything that will upset the current wireless setup. Maybe I am anticipating problems which will not arise, but would be most grateful for any hints/suggestions anyone can provide please!

I must say that I am surprised that the wireless network does in fact work as the PC is in a workgroup named MSHOME and the netbbook is in one called WORKGROUP, as shown in the attached screenshot. Aren't the workgroup names supposed to be the same? If I change the names to be the same when they are in a wired network, will this upset the current wireless network?

I look forward to hearing any comments and would ask that anyone replying assumes I know very little when it comes to network settings and would appreciate simple and rahter explicit instructions, please! :confused:

Edit: Since posting the message above, I have again been into 'Network' on the Win7 Netbook and the old desktop no longer appears! When I wrote the original post the Desktop showed up twice and connection was fine but now neither device appears visible to the other. What can have changed/gone wrong in half an hour?

Thanks,

Roger

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Edited by rogerbid, 05 July 2012 - 07:41 AM.

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#2
Sunnovah

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You should be fine. The wireless network and wired network connections are handled completely seperately. As far as the different workgroup names go, as long as the devices are on the same network they should all still be able to see each other. It just makes it easier for file sharing when they are in the same workgroup.

If your son wants to set up a wireless connection at his new residence he is good there as well. Windows will attempt to connect to any wireless networks you have set up on the system if they are set to automatic and in range. :)

Hope this info helps,

Sunnovah
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#3
rogerbid

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Hi and thanks for your prompt reply.

I think I have a mistaken impression of just how easy this is going to be. After reading your email, I Googled networking and now believe that even with a cable connection, my son will still need a router. Is this correct? Also, is there a way to tell if the cable I have is a cross-over or patch cable? It is blue if this is significant.

I think I will just hand over the PC and leave it to my son to ask his more knowledgable mates to help with the networking!

Thanks,

Roger
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#4
dsenette

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for the cable identification, if these are store bought cables and not home made, they will say what they are on the cable. if it just says "patch cable" then that's all it is. if it is a crossover it should say it on the cable.

as to what your son will need, that all depends on what's available where he is. when you say "cable connection" i'm assuming you mean cable internet. if that's the case, what kind of modem has the cable company supplied? these days they rarely just give you a plain old one port cable modem. at the very least they offer options for cable modem/wireless router combo units so you only need the one device.
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#5
rogerbid

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Hello dsenette,

I am sorry I was not very clear - by "cable connection" I meant a wired network as opposed to a wireless network. My son uses a USB prepaid wireless internet connection for his netbook and hopefully if the two computers can be connected somehow, this will provide access to the internet for both? He does not use the internet for much apart from emails so a normal cable or ADSL connection is low on the list of priorities.

As for the blue cable, this is one that I salvaged from work when the network was renewed, and it is made up from a drum of cable only identified by manufacturer, date of manufacture, etc: "MM CABLES MEGATWISTLAN 4 PR VERIFIED (UL) CATEGORY 5 UTP 24 AWG TYPE CMX 30/1/97 01:56.07" and with no reference to the way the terminals have been alligned. Thinking back to how the workstations were connected - PC to Hub to server to printers/modem etc all using the same interchangeable cables) I am guessing they are the sort of cable I need to connect the PC to the netbook, but still do not know if that is all I need or if I need a router.

Thanks,

Roger
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#6
Sunnovah

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As far as the cable goes, if you look at the ends, you should see 4 pairs of wires. The ones on the left when the clip is down just need to be the same color on both ends, they should be either white-green then green or white-orange then orange, but some companys make their cables funny. If they are different colors, it means you have a crossover cable, which is used to connect two computers together.

In regards to using a usb wireless device for two computers, it depends on the device. If it is one of the units that just charges with usb, but you connect to it wirelessly all you would need is a wireless card in the computer. If it is a plug in and go device, you may need a crossover cable to go between the laptop and desktop, and I believe you would have to bridge the connections. I am probably not the best person here to instruct you on that though, I haven't had much experience with it.

Good luck,

Sunnovah
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#7
dsenette

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as sunnovah said, sharing the USB cellular connection is not an easy thing. it's not particularly suggested.

however, if he doesn't need both computers connected at the same time, he can just move the USB modem back and forth as needed.

alternativley he could get one of the cellular modems that are designed for sharing (such as the verizon jetpack...if he's on verizon). most vellular companies have cellular wifi hot spots.
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