Connecting Two Computers Directly With CableThe traditional method to network two computers involves making a dedicated link by plugging one cable into the two systems. Several alternatives exist for networking two computers in this manner:
- Ethernet crossover cable
- Null modem serial cable or parallel peripheral cable
- Special-purpose USB cables
See also: Ethernet crossover cables
Serial and parallel - This type of cabling, called Direct Cable Connection (DCC) when using Microsoft Windows, offers lower performance but offers the same basic functionality as Ethernet cables. You may prefer this option if you have such cables readily available and network speed is not a concern. Serial and parallel cables are never used to network more than two computers.
USB - Ordinary USB cables must not be used to connect two computers directly to each other. Attempting to do so can electrically damage the computers! However, special USB cables designed for direct connection exist that can be used safely. You may prefer this option over others if your computers lack functional Ethernet network adapters.
To make dedicated connections with Ethernet, USB, serial or parallel cables requires
- each computer have a functioning network interface with an external jack for the cable, and
- the network settings on each computer appropriately configured