Home Networking Connecting Two PCs Using a USB-USB Cable

Connecting Two PCs Using a USB-USB Cable



This cable can work in two modes: link mode and network mode. In link mode, it will work just like the very old “lap link” cables, i.e., it comes with software which enables you to select files, drag, and drop them to where you want to move or copy them to or from the remote computer. If you just want to copy files, that’s the mode we recommend you use, because it is easier and quicker to install and utilize.

In network mode, you will create a small network between two computers. After creating this network, you can share folders, printers, and Internet access. This mode is recommended if, besides copying files, you want to have access to a printer located on the other computer (or any other computer on the network, if this computer is connected to a network) or want to have Internet access.

The cable installation process will depend on the cable manufacturer. You will have to install the programs and drivers that come with the cable on a CD-ROM. This procedure must be performed on both computers, with the cable detached.

So, don’t install the cable yet; leave it unplugged from the computers.

Some manufacturers ship two different setup files, one for the link mode and another for the network mode. Other manufacturers ship just one setup file valid for both modes. Then you need to select the mode you want to use during the installation or inside the transfer program that will be installed.

USB-USB Cable InstallationFigure 4: Choosing the mode during installation.

USB-USB Cable InstallationFigure 5: Choosing the mode inside the transfer program.

After you have installed the corresponding drivers (link mode or network mode), you should install the cable on the computer. Windows will recognize it and install the correct drivers.

If you installed the program and drivers with the cable attached to the computer, you should remove it from your computer and install it again. This will make Windows recognize it and install its drivers.

You should repeat this process for the other computer now.

If you want to change the mode under which your cable is working, you should run the setup program for the other mode or select the mode change on the transfer program, depending on the cable model. This should be without your cable attached to your computer. After changing the mode, reinstall the cable and the system will recognize it automatically. If you run the setup program or changed the mode with the cable attached, simply remove the cable from your computer and install it again to force Windows to install the correct drivers (the drivers used on link mode and network mode are different). You should repeat this process for the other computer.

Now that your cable is installed, let’s see how to use it in both modes.