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Connecting Two Laptops to Network

How do I connect my two laptops to the same wireless internet? My 1st laptop has Windows Vista, and my second has Windows XP. I'm using 2wire 331 to connect me to the Internet on Windows Vista; Windows XP has 2wire 331 to connect it to the Internet too, but one problem, I can only use this wireless connection on these laptops one at a time, I've been having to switch back and forth. How do I get to work on both these laptops with this wireless? Susan Keenan

Sounds frustrating, but you should be able to straighten things out once you go through a few troubleshooting strategies. Use this suggestion as it should solve your problem quite simply since it is the most likely problem. Since you can connect to the Internet with each laptop individually, this is the most likely cause of the problem. Let us know if it does not work.

Windows Vista and Windows XP Networking: Reasons Behind the Problem

Unfortunately, Windows Vista and Windows XP don't always get along within a single network. However, with a bit of tweaking, you should be able to get both laptops to connect to the Internet at the same time. Since most people use the default settings when they set up a network, you can end up with two different Workgroup names on your laptops. Connecting two laptops to a network just takes a bit of coordinating to get them to cooperate.

Troubleshooting Windows Vista and Windows XP Networking: Solving the Problem

With Windows Vista, the default for the workgroup name is "Workgroup," whereas for Windows XP, the default name is "Mshome." Once you change this setting so that both laptops show the same name for your Workgroup, your problem connecting both laptops to wireless Internet at the same time should go away.

Follow these steps to change the Workgroup name on the laptop with Windows XP.

  • Right click on "My Computer."
  • Select "Properties."
  • Select "Computer Name."
  • Select "Change" next to the phrase, "To rename this computer or join a domain."
  • Change the entry under "Workgroup" from "Mshome" to "Workgroup," the default entry for Vista or whatever name you entered when you set the Vista laptop up.
  • Select "ok" at the bottom of the dialog box.
  • Select "ok" in the box that pops up.
  • Reboot the computer so your change goes into effect.

Alternatively, you can change the workgroup name for both laptops as long as you make sure that they are identical.

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