Computer Buying
Computer Building
The Webcast
The Forum
Monthly Broadcast
Why Widescreen?
HDTV Images
What are some alternative ways to connect computers together?
You don't need to use wired Ethernet or WiFi to connect your computers together. While those are usually the fastest and most reliable methods, there are alternatives.

USB Networking Cables

You can connect multiple computers via their USB ports. To do this, you need a special USB networking cable. This cable essentially acts as an Ethernet crossover cable. However, instead of using the networking port on your system, you would use USB ports on each system. It works well if you need to connect a laptop to a nearby desktop computer to sync up files.

There are three major drawbacks to this method. The first is the limited range. USB only offers reliable connections up to about 30 feet without a repeater to amplify the signal. Second, the system essentially connects computers into a chain so the units on each end have to communicate through those units in the middle. Finally, the special USB cables needed are quite espensive if you plan to use them to connect more than two computers together. If you have several systems to connect together, wired or WiFi Ethernet is a better way to go.

Phone Line Networking

This method uses your phone lines to connect computers together. Since most people have phone jacks in most rooms of their homes, it saves running network wiring to those locations.

As you woiuld expect, phone line networking is rather slow. In the end, physically moving items from computer to computer using a disk may be quicker.

Power Line Networking

Power line networking is another method of connecting computers that avoids having to run wiring. You plug your computer into a wall jack via a special adapter and your home's electrical lines become network wiring.

Like phone line networking, this method tends to be rather slow.

Serial or Parallel port connections

These are the absolute slowest form of connections. However, connecting through either port can allow even older computers to talk to each other. You'll need special cables in order to connect two systems together.

©Copyright 2003-2007 Kimberlite Productions and
No part of this site may be reproduced or redistributed without written permission.

Some of the tips and advice may void your equipment or service warranty. When in doubt, consult your owners manual and/or seek professional assistance. does not recommend performing any task that may damage your equipment, void your warranty or violate applicable laws. The use of certain software may violate DMCA or other copyright laws. Since laws vary, depending upon your location, check local regulations regarding any activities you choose to engage in.

Apple, Ipod, ITunes, Windows, DirecTV, Dish Network, Dell, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and other product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Use of those names is for review or demonstation purposes only. No infringement is intended or should be implied. In addition, no endorsement should be inferred. is not responsible for the content of any outside site it may be linked to. In addition, is not responsible for any innaccurate or deceptive claims made by any outside web site. Links from to other sites does not imply our endorsement of those sites.