Microsoft network Browsing is limited to a network segment (or segments connected by a switch). If you do this you will have two segments. Suggest buying a hub or switch. Larry
Q. What is the Windows network Browse Service and what is a Browse Master?
A. The Microsoft networking browser system consists of a master browser, backup browsers, and client computers. The Windows browse service maintains a list, called the browse list, of computers with resources (servers--a client computer can also be a server in a peer-to-peer network) in a workgroup. One computer, the Browse Master, maintains the browse list. Users browse a network (browse list) to find, identify, and connect to network resources. Network resources are found by scrolling through a list of workgroups in the Network Neighborhood/My Network Places (workgroups are listed under the entire Network in Windows Me), a list of computers in a workgroup, and a list of shared resources on a computer. A computer can belong to only one workgroup and can only use resources in that workgroup. If a computer belongs to a Windows domain, both the domain and workgroup names must be identical. When a computer first starts Windows, it hunts for a Browse Master. An election is conducted if no Browse Master is found. An election is also conducted when a Master Browser disappears from the network (e.g., someone turns it off) or a Windows NT or 2000 Server starts. If the Browse Master function is enabled and one Windows NT or 2000 Sever that is the Primary Domain Controller is present, it becomes the Browse Master. If no domain controllers are present than the Master Browser is selected in the following priority order : Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT 4.0 Server Enterprise Edition, Windows NT 4.0 Server, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 98/SE/Me, Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups 3.11. There is one Browse Master per network segment (a group of computers connected to an Ethernet hub are in the same network segment). A Browse Master will appoint computers with the Browse Master function enabled or set to automatic as a backup browse server for every 32 computers on a network segment. Secondary domain controllers on the same network segment with a primary domain controller become backup Browse Masters. The Browse Master sends a copy of the browse list to the backup browse servers every fifteen minutes . A client computer announces itself to the network based on what server services it is running. A Windows computer will not appear in a browse list if it is not running File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks. It may take up to 15 minutes for a computer to be added to the browse list. It may take up to 51 minutes (this number varies with different MS references and the process is complex) for a computer to be removed from a browse list after it has stopped announcing its presence.
To browse across TCP/IP subnetworks at least one Windows NT or 2000 Server Browse Master must be on each subnetwork. Microsoft networks using the IPX/SPX-compatible protocol (NWLink), have only one master browser for each domain and name queries are sent across routers in such a network automatically. For more Info see the Windows 98/98SE Resource Kit; Browsing and Windows 95 Networking (Parts 1-3); MS KB Article Q238853, Cannot Browse Network Neighborhood if PDC Is on Separate Subnet; and MS KB Article Q188001, Description of the Microsoft Computer Browser Service.
In my humble opinion this system does not always work well and needs a major overhaul. I have read that Windows XP fixes a lot of what is wrong, but I am presently skeptical. Larry
What is the difference between an Ethernet hub and switch?
Although hubs and switches both glue the PCs in a network together, a switch is more expansive and generally considered faster than a hub. Why?
When a hub receives a packet (chunk) of data (a frame in Ethernet lingo) at one of its ports from a PC on the network, it transmits (repeats) the packet to all of its ports and, thus, to all of the other PCs on the network. If two or more PCs on the network try to send packets at the same time a collision is said to occur. When that happens all of the PCs have to go though a routine to resolve the conflict. The process is proscribed in the Ethernet Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocol. Each Ethernet Adapter has both a receiver and a transmitter. If the adapters didn't have to listen with their receivers for collisions they would be able to send data at the same time they are receiving it (full duplex). Because they have to operate at half duplex (data flows one way at a time) and a hub retransmits data from one PC to all of the PCs, the maximum bandwidth is 100 Mhz and that bandwidth is shared by all of the PC's connected to the hub. The result is when a person using a computer on a hub downloads a large file or group of files from another computer the network becomes congested. In a 10 Mhz 10Base-T network the affect is to slow the network to nearly a crawl. The affect on a small, 100 Mhz, 5-port network is not as significant.
Two computers can be connected directly together in an Ethernet with a crossover cable. A crossover cable doesn't have a collision problem. It hardwires the Ethernet transmitter on one computer to the receiver on the other. Most 100BASE-TX Ethernet Adapters can detect when listening for collisions is not required with a process know as auto-negotiation and will operate in a full duplex mode when it is permitted. The result is a crossover cable doesn't have delays caused by collisions, data can be sent in both directions simultaneously, the maximum available bandwidth is 200 Mhz, 100 Mhz each way, and there are no other PC's with which the bandwidth must be shared.
An Ethernet switch automatically divides the network into multiple segments, acts as a high-speed, selective bridge between the segments, and supports simultaneous connections of multiple pairs of computers which don't compete with other pairs of computers for network bandwidth. It accomplishes this by maintaining a table of each destination address and its port. When the switch receives a packet, it reads the destination address from the header information in the packet, establishes a temporary connection between the source and destination ports, sends the packet on its way, and then terminates the connection.
Picture a switch as making multiple temporary crossover cable connections between pairs of computers (the cables are actually straight-thru cables; the crossover function is done inside the switch). High-speed electronics in the switch automatically connect the end of one cable (source port) from a sending computer to the end of another cable (destination port) going to the receiving computer on a per packet basis. Multiple connections like this can occur simultaneously. It's as simple as that. And like a crossover cable between two PCs, PC's on an Ethernet switch do not share the transmission media, do not experience collisions or have to listen for them, can operate in a full-duplex mode, have bandwidth as high as 200 Mhz, 100 Mhz each way, and do not share this bandwidth with other PCs on the switch. In short, a switch is "more better."