So you want to set up a computer network. I'm going to show you how to do it.
Right here, we have two of my computers. I have a MacBook here, and a PC here. And, they both have Ethernet ports, but where do connect them to? I can't really connect them to each other. I mean, that would work for certain things, but it's not a real network.
What I need is something like this: a router. Now, a router has a bunch of ports in the back that I can connect to multiple computers, and it also works wirelessly, so I can connect more computers without cables. But right now, I'm going to show you how to connect them with cables. And to do that, we're going to need a bunch of these Ethernet cables.
So I'm just going to get one of these, hook it up to my Mac, and the other side is going to go to one of these ports on my router. I'm going to do the same with my PC. I'm going to take this port right here, and the other side will go right to my router. Now, what the router is doing right now is giving both of the computers something called IP Addresses, which is their numbers on the network. These are the numbers that these computers have, so that other computers can talk to them, and know how to address them.
The third thing you could do with your router is connect it to the Internet, so that both of these computers could also have Internet access, and the way you do it is by hooking up an Ethernet cable to the one port in the back that looks different from all the other ports. So, if you look at the back, there are four ports that you can use for computers, and then there's one port usually marked as WAN, or Internet, or Uplink, that we can take our cable to. And then, the other side goes to our DSL or cable modem and gives us Internet.
And that's basically how we set up a simple computer network. With a router, you can connect Macs and Pc's on a combined network. And you don't really have too much headaches and compatibility issues, because they all use the same standard, and it just works.