How to connect two computers using an Ethernet cable

How to connect two computers using an Ethernet cable
How to connect two computers using an Ethernet cable
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If you have multiple computers at home and want to easily share files between them, you can connect them using an Ethernet cable. File sharing from one machine to another is possible on Mac and Windows.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Connect the computers

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 1

Step 1. See if your computers have Ethernet ports

Ethernet ports are large rectangular ports usually identified by a 3 box icon. You will find them on one side of your case (on a laptop) or on the back of the central unit (on a laptop).

On iMacs, the Ethernet port is on the back of the monitor

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 2

Step 2. Purchase an Ethernet adapter if necessary

If your computer does not have an Ethernet port, you will need to purchase a USB Ethernet adapter. You will find this kind of accessory online (for example on Amazon) or in computer hardware stores (like GrosBill).

If you have a Mac, be sure to check your USB ports. There may be only USB-C ports (oval ports instead of rectangular ports), which means you'll also need an Ethernet to USB-C or USB to USB-C adapter

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 3

Step 3. See if you have a crossover Ethernet cable

Although most Ethernet ports support both conventional Ethernet cables and crossover Ethernet cables, you will avoid possible errors by using a crossover Ethernet cable. To find out if this is the case, look at the colored wires at each end of the cable.

  • If the colors are not in the same order on each end, you have a crossover cable.
  • If the colors are the same from left to right on each end, you have a regular cable. This cable can still be used on most computers, but if you are connecting 2 older machines and you have problems, go for a crossover cable.
Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 4

Step 4. Insert one end of the cable into the first computer

The end of the Ethernet cable must go into the dedicated port on your computer (lever facing down).

If you are using an Ethernet adapter, insert the USB end of the adapter into one of the available USB ports on your computer

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 5

Step 5. Insert the other end of the cable into the second computer

The other end of the Ethernet cable should go into the Ethernet port on the other computer.

Again, if you are using an Ethernet adapter, connect it to your computer first before plugging in the cable

Part 2 of 3: Use File Sharing on Windows

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 6

Step 1. Open the control panel

Click on To start up

Windowsstart

at the bottom left of your screen, type control panel then click on Control panel which appears at the top of the menu.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 7

Step 2. Click Network and Internet

This option is in the middle of the control panel.

  • Skip this step if you see "Small icons" or "Large icons" next to the header View By at the top right of the window.
Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 8

Step 3. Select Network and Sharing Center

You will find this link at the top of the window.

  • If your control panel uses the display of small icons or large icons, you will find Network and Sharing Center on the right of the page.
Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 9

Step 4. Click Change advanced sharing settings

This link is located at the top left of the window.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 10

Step 5. Select the Enable file and printer sharing check box

This box is in the section File and Printer Sharing menu.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 11

Step 6. Click Save Changes

The button Save Changes is at the bottom of the window. Click on it to save your changes and enable file sharing on your computer.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 12

Step 7. Share a folder

To allow the connected computer to view and modify the contents of shared folders:

  • open the folder you want to share;
  • go to the tab Share;
  • select Specific people;
  • click on the down arrow in the drop-down menu then choose Everybody in the menu that appears;
  • click on To share then on Ended.
Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 13

Step 8. Navigate to a shared folder

If you want to view a shared folder on your computer, you can do so from File Explorer.

  • Make sure you have shared the folder on your connected PC or Mac.
  • Open File Explorer

    File_Explorer_Icon
  • Click on the name of the other computer in the left sidebar.
  • Enter the password for the other computer if prompted.
  • Open the shared folder to view its contents.

Part 3 of 3: Use File Sharing on Mac

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 14

Step 1. Open the Apple menu

Macapple1

Click on the Apple logo at the top left of the screen to open a drop-down menu.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 15

Step 2. Click System Preferences

You will find this option in the drop-down menu. Click on it to open the System Preferences window.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 16

Step 3. Select Sharing

The option Share is located in the system preferences window and opens the sharing window.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 17

Step 4. Check the File Sharing box

You'll find it on the left of the sharing window.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 18

Step 5. Change the access permission

Click on the icon to the right of the header All then select the option Reading and writing in the menu that appears. From now on, the connected computer will be able to see and modify the contents of the shared folders.

Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 19

Step 6. Share a folder

To share a folder on your Mac with the connected computer:

  • click on under the list of shared folders in the share window;
  • find a folder you want to share;
  • select the folder by clicking once on it;
  • click on Add to add the folder to the list of shared folders.
Connect Two Computers Together with an Ethernet Cable Step 20

Step 7. Navigate to a shared folder

If you want to view a shared folder on your Mac, you can do so from Finder.

  • Make sure you've shared the folder from your connected PC or Mac.
  • Open Finder

    Macfinder2
  • Select the name of the other computer in the options column to the left of the Finder window.
  • If prompted, enter your computer password.
  • Open the shared folder to view the files it contains.

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