[OT] Routerless Network?
wjm at wjm.org
Tue May 9 13:11:57 EDT 2006
You can do it but it may be more time consuming than it's worth because of
the potential "gotchas."
First, not any Ethernet cable will do; you typically need to have a
"crossover" cable. Most modern routers and switches (hubs) auto-detect and
compensate for cables of either wiring flavor, but most Ethernet adapters on
PCs do not. An appropriate cable can cost $20.
The second gotcha is configuring the network on both machines. If the Mac is
currently working fine with the wireless network (you say there's one in the
area, but not whether you use it), it may be a hassle to undo those settings
and configure them for the PC-to-PC net you would create. Each computer will
need to be on the same subnet (e.g.: 255.255.255.0), and each will need to
have a static IP address. For example, 10.0.0.10 and 10.0.0.11.
While they are hooked up to each other, neither computer will have Internet
access unless the one machine has a second net connection and you set up
Internet Connection sharing. (Third gotcha.) Setting up ICS is fairly
On the other hand, good USB WiFi adapters can be had for under $30; I've
even seen them as low as $20. They do work with Airport hubs. I've found
these little guys can be extremely useful. If it's a choice between getting
the correct cable and getting a WiFi dongle, I'd go with the dongle.
Scott Rossi asked,
> Apologies for the OT question. I have an XP system and an OSX Mac sitting
> near each other that I'm wondering if I can network without using a router
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