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Remote Networking Tutorial

Note:  Many isps these days block SMB connections.  If this doesn't work, call up your isp, and the remote users isp and do some complaining.  If you're paying for internet, why should they control what you do with it?

Ok, say you've got a network somewhere else in the world, and on this particular day, you're at some big meeting, and your PowerPoint presentation for it is at your house, 5,000 miles away.  Rest assured, there's an easy way to get that file from your hotel room, rather than going all the way back.

This tutorial will allow you to use your LAN at home, over the internet, just like you were sitting at it.  Before we start, let's assume a few things. . .   Make sure that your computers are setup just like they would be for a regular LAN.  (See the basic networking tutorial)  Although, you can skip the hardware stuff, as you're not going to need it, you'll be using your modem for this.  (Note:  any internet connection is fine, the faster, the better)  Also, the computer you're going to connect to MUST be online while you try to connect to it.  (You can however dial directly into it if you'd like, I'll explain this in a later tutorial)  You also need to know the ip address of your computer.  There are about 3 ways to determine this if you are away.  1:  Go to, sign up, and download an auto updater program.  Your computer will be assigned the hostname of or something similar.  Then, to find your ip from that, click start, run, type command.  type in ping  and your ip will come up.  2:  Download one of those IP poster things, that automatically stick your ip on a web page or something.  You can find a lot at  3:  Just scan for it.  This requires that you know the subnet that your isp assigns, if you know that your subnet changes, then you may not want to choose scanning, because it can get time consuming if you have more than 1 subnet.  Anyway, there's a good scanner called "Networld Scanner" and it can be found at

Ok, now that you know your ip address, click start, run, type in

edit c:\windows\lmhosts

(Note:  make sure, that if windows is installed somewhere else, or a different drive, to change that)

Ok, this should bring up a nice blue screen for you, that will likely be empty.  If it's not, well go down to the end of the file, and type in the stuff there.  What you are going to do, is type in your ip, and your computername to associate with it, so when you go to browse for your computer, windows knows where to find it.

Type in: ComputerName

So, you have your ip address, and then a space, and your computer name.  An example would be: RadioServer1

Now, hit file, save, and exit out of that.  

Now all you have to do is click start, run.  Type in \\ComputerName (where computername is the name of your computer) and a window will come up (eventually) of all you have shared.

Note:  Considering the fact that this networking stuff was designed to work over a really fast connection, and not over a modem, this may be extremely slow.  It may take up to a minute for this window to appear, just be patient.  Also note:  once you get connected to it, things should go much faster.  One more note:  windows likes to do a lot of stupid and pointless stuff to your files, and it may be eating up a lot of bandwidth, when right clicking on files or instance, so the best thing to do, is avoid clicking on stuff, unless you're gonna open it, otherwise it will appear that your computer has crashed, while you're waiting on your network connection to catch up.  (please note, that it hasn't though)

Oh yea, some of you may have an actual server on your network.  If that is the case, when you logon to your computer, (the one that is at your hotel in vegas) make sure you logon with the username and password that your server at home requires.  

This tutorial has been tested with Win95 (all versions) and 98 (all versions).  However, I haven't tested it with winMe yet, so someone please tell me how it goes.  WinNT/2000 is a little bit different, and I have yet to fool around with that, as my nt machine is laying in pieces on the table next to me, but I'll let you know how that goes.  

Another Way. . .

If you just know the ip address of the computer you want to connect to, and you don't have time to scan for a computer name, and put it all in lmhosts, just type:

\\ is the ip you want to connect to.


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Copyright 1998-2005, Brad Isbell []