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How do I set up network sharing with four computers running Windows 7?

I have one dlink 8 port switch and a cablenet.

What do I need to do to set this up?

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3 Answers 3

As rob suggested, make sure your PCs are all on the same subnet. Following that, If all the PCs are running Windows 7, the easiest way for you to enable connectivity between them, is by creating a Home Group. See this link for details about how:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/home-sweet-homegroup-networking-the-easy-way

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To get all the computers on the Internet, you will need a router instead of (or in addition to) the network switch, since your cable modem probably only provides a single Internet IP address.

What's happening now is you're having a problem with network addressing--since there is no local DHCP server, the computers are probably auto-assigning themselves network addresses in the 169.254.x.x link-local IP address range. The easiest fix, as I mentioned earlier, is to install a router, which will provide DHCP, allowing all the computers to get IP addresses in the same subnet (i.e., they'll be able to see each other because they're now on the same street). Most routers have built-in 10/100 or gigabit switches, but if you want to use your existing gigabit switch, just plug one of the router's LAN (not WAN/Internet) ports into one of the ports on the gigabit switch.

If you just want the computers to see each other, you can try setting static IP addresses. There are specific private IP address ranges and subnets for home or private networks, but a common one is 192.168.x.x. I'd suggest using the following addresses just to see if you can get the computers to see each other:

192.168.1.2
192.168.1.3
192.168.1.4
192.168.1.5

And, of course, use the same subnet of 255.255.255.0 for all three computers. (FYI, this is the default subnet for Linksys routers.)

If you get this working and now want the computers to have Internet access, you may have to do some additional configuration and/or may have to change to a different IP address range. If you hook up a Linksys router (using its default settings) to your gigabit switch in the fashion I mentioned earlier, you can either switch all the computers to DHCP, or you can edit their settings so both the gateway and DNS server point to 192.168.1.1.

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Your question is a bit low on detail and what you want to do depends on what you want to archive. Is that:

  1. Connect the four computers running Windows 7 to a single network?
  2. Or also access data on the other three other computers?
  3. Or let all four of them connect to the Internet (hence the 'cablenet' reference'), while allowing the computers to see the other three.
  4. The same as 3), but isolating the computers from each other (very useful in student homes with shared access to the Internet and three other -potentially virus infected- PCs.

To solve 1):

  • Connect them all to the same switch.
  • Either give all of them a static IP (See rob's answer) or
    connect a fifth port on the switch the the cable modem, enabled DHCPd one the cable modem and set all the four clients (the wiun7 PC's) to DHCP.

To solve 2):

Do as 1) but also add network shares or set a homegroup. (See Pulse's answer)

To solve 3):

Configure the cable modem so that your internal network (as configured in 1) or 2) is in the same range as the cable modems IP. Then set the default gateway on the windows computers to that IP. For more details on how this works see http://serverfault.com/questions/49765/how-does-ipv4-subnetting-work

To solve 4):

If you have a switch with VLAN support: Enable that. This is not yet common with SoHO devices, so I am going to ignore this.

Else configure each of the windows 7 clients with its own distinct network and add several IPs to the cable modems NIC.

E.g.

PC1  IP 192.168.10.1                             Cable modem
                      \                            /
PC2  IP 192.168.42.99 - [All connected] ---------- NIC with four IPs
                        [to the switch]            All four set as the
PC3  IP 172.16.5.3-----/  /                        default gateway for
                         /                         the relevant computer
PC4  IP 10.99.4.7-------/

How do I set up network sharing with?

This question is unclear.

I have one dlink 8 port switch and a cablenet.

As is this. What is "a cablenet"? Internet via a cable? How, what kind of device. And more importantly, can you program that device. What are its capabilities.

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