How to set up a LAN (Part 1: The hardware)

1. Get a NIC for every computer you want to hook up to the LAN. A NIC is a Network Interface Card. This is the hardware your computer uses to connect to the LAN. You won't be able to make a LAN without NICs, so forget about trying, OK? They're only about $20 each. Install one NIC in each computer. Actually getting the NIC physically plugged into the computer is fairly easy (assuming you've installed expansion cards before and know how to plug one in), but getting it recognized in your operating system may be a bit tricker. The NIC should have come with a driver disk, but this disk will most likely only work with Windows. In Linux, you may have to find a third-party driver for your card written by someone else.

2. Once the NICs are all installed and recognized by the OS, connect them all to a hub (or a switch, or a router). Your LAN is now physically installed.

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