The joy of Windows Networking
Now you've done it. You've gotten yourself addicted to that silky smooth LAN connection. Are you tired of spending your weekends trudging your computer to various LAN parties? Do you spend your nights giving free Quake lessons to inept college students just to get that daily LAN fix?
Your 200 ping over modem just doesn't do it for you anymore; you need that 20 ping. So now you've bought all the necessary network components and connected all your systems, but where do you go from there? How do you configure the network in Windows? We covered all the LAN basics in our How to Set up a Small LAN guide, and now it's time to follow that up with the really tricky part - Windows networking configuration. It's not too complicated, but it's certainly a situation where a little preparation and patience can make up for long hours of frustration.
Plug N' Pray
Installing the network card in Windows will probably be the most difficult part of setting up your LAN. The quality of your NIC card, and the number of legacy cards in your system will determine how easy the installation will be, and how many problems you'll run into afterwards. We're going to assume you're running Win95 or 98, as they react identically to any kind of NIC installation routine.
Do you need to learn how to wire all your computers together or what hardware you'll need to buy? Read our How to Setup a LAN Guide first, then come back and read this article.