Sample table for determining hardware needs

This sample table will help you create your own table listing the computers on your network. Using this kind of table, you can make a list of the hardware you need to purchase to set up your home or small office network.

Computer location

Does it have a network adapter?

What kind of modem?

Other hardware devices




Printer, scanner

Son's bedroom


56 kilobits per second (Kbps) analog modem

Digital camera

Daughter's bedroom


No modem




No modem


Based on this sample, if your home is pre-wired for Ethernet, you might want to buy Ethernet adapters, cables, and the network hub to connect your computers. Otherwise, you may want to consider purchasing a home phoneline network adapter (HPNA) or wireless adapter to connect your computers together.


For a comprehensive list of hardware supported by Windows operating systems, see Compatible Hardware and Software in Help and Support Center. 

Hardware requirements overview

Network adapters overview

Modems overview

Buying the right hardware

Choosing your Internet Connection Sharing host computer

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