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I've got 2 computers in my home office, and they are both connected to the wireless router sitting in the living room. Problem is I often need to copy files back and forth between them, or VNC from one to the other (I tried a Belkin KVM but it didnt work well). And using a wireless connection for that is very bad for performance, which is a bummer since both computers are literally next to each other.

So what are my other options? A switch: could work but I dont want a long cable running through my home. Another router: is it possible to use another router that would receive the signal from the main router, and transfers it to the 2 computers so they have internet? If possible, this 2nd router would act as a wired switch, so perfect for local transfer. Otherwise, any other ideas? direct ethernet connections: is that possible?

Thanks in advance,


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Just connect these two computers with an Ethernet cable. No need to alter the existing network configuration. Computers will now have two network interfaces - one to connect to the Internet (wireless), and one to connect to neighbour computer (wired).

This way you will have positive sides of both wired and wireless connections - you have the huge speed where you need it (between two computers), and you have no wires to the router (since you don't like long cables).

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Note that for a direct connection computer-computer you need a special cable (different from the cable for computer-switch). See . – sleske Feb 22 '10 at 13:27
He states that he doesn't want cable running through his space. – Xavierjazz Feb 22 '10 at 13:28
@sleske Not necessarily; many devices will auto-crossover, so that either cable type can be used. – sblair Feb 22 '10 at 13:33
@Xavierjazz The question asks to avoid a long cable between rooms, not a short cable between two machines in the same room. – sblair Feb 22 '10 at 13:36
@ChrisF There's a clue in the title... Otherwise this would be a fairly different question. – sblair Feb 22 '10 at 14:14

Mad Fish's answer is probably the best solution, but another option is to install a switch in the office and use Ethernet over Power Line Carrier to connect the switch to the router. This will avoid installing a long cable between rooms, and should provide higher bandwidth (~200Mbit/s) than Wi-Fi (assuming it's limited to 54Mbit/s).

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Exactly like Wi-Fi, PowerLine gives a lot less bandwidth than the carrier rate (200Mbit/s PL have 100MBit/s ethernet ports). However this will be a simple solution (and avoid interference/bandwidth limits of neighbours with Wi-Fi as well). It is exactly what I have running here. There are also PL units with inbuilt switches (which saves two network boxes alongside the computers). – Richard Feb 22 '10 at 14:33

Just a simple hub should be fine, plug the hub into your router, and the 2 local boxes into the hub. Should be able to get one for less than $20.

Also what kind of wireless do you have?, it should be fine to do all those things between each other (I do it all the time)

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This would still require a long cable from the router to the hub. Also, given that switches are not significantly more expensive than hubs, a switch is almost always preferable to a hub. – sblair Feb 22 '10 at 13:31
@sblair, I think that @Joel is suggesting that no cable is necessary between the router and the switch - the computers will access the internet over one network connection, and talk to each other over an unrelated internet connection. – dsolimano Feb 22 '10 at 13:58
@dsolimano "plug the hub into your router" strongly suggests that @Joel intends for them to be connected... But the solution you suggest is another sensible option - basically an extension of Mad Fish's answer. – sblair Feb 22 '10 at 14:21
@sblair, you are completely right, I was reading @Rodent43's answer but associating it with @Joel's answer. Need to wake up before posting. – dsolimano Feb 22 '10 at 14:30

I would go with the answer from Mad Fish, one cable between the two if they are in the same room, you can either use a crossover cable or as mentioned many devices will auto-crossover

the other option if its just file sharing is to use a remote store? like an online storage account (many have a free service) that both machines can access...although this would still give you the issue of speed with uploading and downloading or accessing etc...

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