How To Build a Network Part 4
Setting Up Your Software
When you turn on your computer for the first time after installing the NIC you may need to install the drivers for the NIC provided by the manufacturer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install these drivers and insert any media that is prompted for.
Both Windows and Mac OS should automatically attach the TCP/IP protocols necessary for using the hardware on your network. If your computer is not connecting to the Internet by the end of this tutorial, you will need to ensure these protocols are installed.
Instructions for installing TCP/IP on Windows 95, 98, or ME are available, as well as instructions for Windows 2000 or XP. For Mac users, instructions for setting up TCP/IP are available for those using Mac OS 9.x, or Mac OS X.
Most home networks use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP, to give out IP addresses to each computer on your network. In order for this to work, you will have to be sure that your networking protocols for each computer have DHCP enabled. Fortunately, this is the default setting on most operating systems' TCP/IP protocol. If you are not connected to the Internet by the end of this tutorial, be sure that DHCP is enabled on your network card.
If you want to be able to use your network to share printers or files, you will need to create a common workgroup name (PDF file). You will also need to install the proper file sharing (PDF file) and printer sharing (PDF file) protocols and set them up.
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