Would a USB -> USB cable work for this??


The easiest options are (in rough order of practicality):

  • connect both devices to the same hub/switch/router via Ethernet - easiest option if you have Internet via ADSL or cable, then you usually already have a switch/router
  • connect both devices to the same WLAN network (similar to first option, just wireless instead of wired)
  • cross-over ethernet connection (may need a special "cross-over" cable, modern systems will do this automatically)
  • USB-to-USB connection; this requires a special cable however, as pointed out by Moab, and special software

Desperate options:

  • Parallel-to-parallel (aka LapLink) cable
  • serial-to-serial (aka nullmodem) cable

Both are very slow, and have little software support on modern OSes (though they can be made to work, at least under Linux)

In practice, I'd always advise to use option 1 (connect both devices to a router/switch), unless this is totally impractical. That gives you a standard network connection, which is what most software expects.

  • 2
    Firewire-to-Firewire is also an option (at least on Macs, but since DarkLightA didn't specify his systems...) – Daniel Beck Dec 27 '10 at 16:22
  • I'd put a direct Ethernet connection at #2 right underneath hooking them to the same switch. Auto-MDIX is part of the GigE spec -- no cross-over cables required. However, if one (or both) systems is only 10/100, then a cross-over cable works best. – afrazier Dec 27 '10 at 18:37
  • @Daniel - Windows XP can also do IP-over-Firewire, but I've never tried hooking 2 systems together via Firewire to see what would happen. – afrazier Dec 27 '10 at 18:38

No, you need a special usb cable and software like this one



Yes, it would. But if you connected them via an ad-hoc WiFi network, there might be more things that you can accomplish like file sharing / media streaming etc.

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