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Is there a simple way to connect two HP laptops? These are standalone computers. One should be the client, while the other act as a server.

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For what services? – msanford Feb 27 '13 at 19:34
    
For network connection? – Davidenko Feb 28 '13 at 6:20

Use a crossover cable, set the IPs statically to be on the same subnet and use the server's IP address as the gateway:

Client: 192.168.1.2 255.255.255.255 192.168.1.1
Server: 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.255 192.168.1.1

You will only be able to connect them to each other, and must reference them by IP and not by machine name.

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The mask in your example should be "255.255.255.0". There is no need for cross-over cable if either NIC is a gigabit one. Also originally the question had the [wireless-networking] tag - did Craig change his mind? – Alex P. Feb 27 '13 at 19:50
    
@AlexP. +1 for the Gbit, I tried to make sure he wasn't referring to wifi only, didn't see any indicator. – BigHomie Feb 27 '13 at 19:52

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