Sharing a network connection between two Windows computers is a simple affair and should take no more than 10-15 minutes to set up. The best way to do this is by creating an ad hoc wireless network with one of the machines acting as the host. Follow these steps to successfully share a network connection between two Windows computers:
1. On the machine that will be the host, launch the Network and Sharing Center by either clicking on the Start menu and selecting the icon or by typing “network and sharing center” into the search bar.
2. Select ‘Setup a new connection or network’.
3. From the list of options select Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network.
4. Give your network a name and a password. Make sure the security type is set to WPA2-Personal.
5. While still on the host machine, launch Internet Explorer and check the settings.
6. In the Tools menu select the ‘Internet Options’ button.
7. Select the Connections tab and then click the ‘LAN settings’ button.
8. Tick the box that says ‘Enable LAN’. Click OK and close the window.
9. Now move onto the client machine.
10. Launch the Network and Sharing Center by either clicking on the Start menu and selecting the icon or by typing “network and sharing center” into the search bar.
11. Select the option for ‘Set up a connection or network’.
12. This time select ‘Connect to a network’ from the list.
13. When prompted, enter the name and password for the wireless network you created earlier.
14. You should now see a prompt asking if you want to share the connection with other computers or devices. Select ‘Yes’.
15. You may be asked to confirm the connection again. Select ‘Connect’.
16. Your client computer should now be connected to the wireless network and you should be able to access the Internet.
17. If you experience any problems click on the ‘Troubleshooting’ button in the Network and Sharing Center and run the windows troubleshooting utility.
At this point you should have successfully connected your two Windows computer using an ad hoc wireless network. This is the simplest method for sharing a network connection between two computers, although it does require both machines to have wireless hardware. If your computers do not have wireless capabilities then you can use a simple Ethernet crossover cable to connect them directly together. This will involve setting up each computer with a static IP address. You can find instructions on how to do this online.
Once your two computers are connected, you should be able to share and transfer files between them, as well as accessing the internet. You should also enable file and printer sharing to allow you to share between computers. Open the shared folder that is created and check the permissions to make sure they are correctly set up so that both machines can access the files.
Sharing a network connection between two computers is easy to do with Windows and should only take a few minutes to set up. As long as you have the right hardware, or can access a crossover cable, then you should be able to connect your two systems and begin transferring data.