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How can I connect my laptop to my desktop so I can transfer files?

Answer: The best way to connect your laptop to your desktop is to use the computers' built-in networking capabilities. This can be done by connecting the computers via an Ethernet or wireless network connection. An Ethernet connection requires that each computer has an Ethernet port, which looks like a wide phone jack. If you are connecting two computers directly, you need to use an Ethernet crossover cable. If you are connecting both computers to a network hub, you should use a straight-through Ethernet cable to connect each computer to the hub.

In order to create a wireless network, both computers need a wireless card. You also should have a wireless router that acts as the base station for the network. The system software on your computer should automatically recognize when a wireless card is installed. It should also prompt you to connect to the closest wireless router. If it does not, your computer's reference manual should explain how to connect to the wireless network. Once both computers are communicating with the wireless router, they are both on the same network, and therefore can share files with each other.

For information on sharing files on a local network, view this Help Center article.

Published: March 24, 2005 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center