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Can I create a network with two computers using a regular modem?

Can I use my regular dialup modem to dial a computer sitting beside my computer? Basically, can I create a network with two computers using a regular modem?
Your question reminds me of the good old days where it was the only way to create a network between two computers that were located in different buildings.

You will be happy to know that it is possible.

Setting up a dial up network is not that difficult however it does change depending on the type of operating system each computer is running.

With the newer Windows 2000 and XP operating systems, the procedure is simple as installing an application and doesn't require much technical knowledge.

Since you have two computers, one will be dialing into the other, which means one is the dialer while the other is waiting to accept an incoming call.

Assuming you already have a modem installed, your account has administrative rights, and using Windows XP, which is the most common operating system today, you would need to follow these steps:

Dialer PC
Click on "Start"-->Settings--> Network Connections

In the Network Connections window, double-click the "New Connection Wizard" icon located on the lower left side of the window.

Once the wizard starts, it will ask you for the Network Connection Type, select "Connect to the network at my workplace", click on the "next" button.

You will be now presented with two choices, select the first one "Dial-up Connection" and follow the bouncing ball, entering the details you are asked for (Company name, phone number and click on finish.

A new icon will now appear in your "Network Connection" window.

When you double-click on it, you will be asked for the username and password to be used for this connection.

Let's now move to the 2nd PC, which is the one that will accept the incoming call.

Receiver PC (Accepts incoming call)
Click on "Start"-->Settings--> Network Connections

In the Network Connections window, double-click the "New Connection Wizard" icon located on the lower left side of the window.

Once the wizard starts, it will ask you for the Network Connection Type, select "Set up an advanced connection", click on the "next" button.

At the next prompt, select "Accept incoming connections" and click the "next" button.

You are now asked to select the connection devices. You must now select the option that represents your modem on this computer. Make sure there is a "tick" in the box for the device and click the "next" button.

Since we plan to create a simple connection, select the "Do not allow virtual private connections" and click the "next" button.

The computer will now present you with a list of the users you wish you allow to use this connection. Simply speaking, we need to choose who is allowed to dial into this pc. If the user exists, make sure you select the appropriate user by clicking in the box that's right next to it.

If the user doesn't exist, do not panic! You can add any user you wish by clicking on the "add" button on that same window.

Once complete, click on the "next" button to proceed with the network properties of this connection.

Now you should have the "Networking Software" window, where you are prompted to configure the network settings. Thankfully, you don't need to do anything since Microsoft has already enabled DHCP for you, meaning the PC that will dial into this machine will automatically be configured. Click on the "next" button.

You are now at the final step, click on the "finish" button to complete the setup.

All that is left is to try the new connection and see if it works. When you initiate the dialup from the Dialer PC, remember to use the details of the account we selected on the Receive PC.

If you happen to fall into various problems, I would strong suggest you either ask for some help through the thousands of forums available on the Internet, or simply do a search on Google.com.

This was last published in October 2003

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