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How to connect two computers via USB cable

Updated July 20, 2017

Connecting two computers via a bridged USB cable is a relatively simple and easy way to network them together. Connecting computers together is a great way to share files, split internet access, or even allow the computers to share processing power.

Get an A/A (bridged) USB cable. An A/A (bridged) cable has two flat, rectangular ends, with a bulb or a brick in the middle of the cord. This "bridge" allows the two computers to communicate effectively. Another factor to keep in mind is choosing between USB 1.0, which communicates at around 12 MBpS, and USB 2.0, which communicates at 480 MBpS. Choose USB 2.0, as the speed of communication is much faster.

Install the software, connect the computers with "link" switched on, and follow the instructions that the software provides to share files between the two computers. A/A (bridged) USB cables generally operate in one of two modes, controlled by a switch usually found on the bridge in the middle of the cable. The first mode is "link," which comes with its own software. Link allows computers to share files, nothing more.

Install the Network software that came with the USB cable, and connect the two computers. The second mode found on these cables is "network." Network allows two computers to share files, internet connections, and create a network. That's it! Your computers are connected. Follow the instructions that come with the USB cable to learn how to perform certain tasks, such as sharing internet or creating a network.

Warning

Be very careful that the USB cord you choose is not simply an A/A. You need an A/A (bridged) to allow the computers to communicate. Using an A/A alone can potentially damage or destroy your USB ports and their power supplies!

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About the Author

Matthew Skiffington is a teacher of special needs preschoolers in Newport News, Va. He graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master of Science in early childhood special education in 1997. Skiffington has written professionally for various websites since 2009, specializing in health, science and gaming-related topics.