Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Old PC & New PC: Can I Use Both?

Monday, January 28th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Hardware & Peripherals

Sandy from Sparks, Nevada writes:

I have a new laptop that came loaded with Windows 7. My desktop, which I love and adore, is loaded with the original (and updates, of course) of XP. I have no plans of changing the desktop, it’s still working great, but the laptop is new and I’m wondering if I will have an compatibility problems between the two since they are both hooked up to the same router and wireless printer. The laptop is still in the box, not set up yet….


The good news is if your older computer is still working you can keep using it along with your new computer. Most wireless printers support printing from multiple computers and even older routers can handle a few computers hooked up at once. There are a few tips and products which can make running two computers at the same time easier and faster.

The first thing you need to do is make sure all of your devices (like printers, scanners, usb devices, etc) work with the new computer. You can check the manufacturer’s website for the device to see if there are drivers you can download and install before connecting it to your new computer. If the device does not work with your new computer, it’s more important then ever you have access to the old computer until you get a newer version of the device to replace the incompatible one.

A great purchase for someone who wants to use two computers is a KVM switch. A KVM switch allows you to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse to two computers at once. You can also connect a USB hub to the USB port on the KVM to connect multiple USB devices to both computers. You can only use the devices connected with one computer at a time, but you can switch back and forth easily. KVM switches range in price from $30 to $60, but will save a lot of frustrating cable switching

Another accessory you may look at purchasing is a better router. If you’re going to run two computers at once on a network, you want to make sure your router isn’t slowing you down. Check the specifications of your existing and new computers and make sure your router is set up to handle those speeds. Many new laptops come with 802.11N wireless, which results in significantly faster file transfers from computer to computer. If you’re using an older 802.11G or 802.11B router, it would benefit you to upgrade.

The final accessory which may benefit you is a network attached hard drive. These types of hard drives look like regular external hard drives, but connect via a network cable or Wi-Fi connection to your router instead of a USB cable to a single computer. The hard drive can then be accessed by all computers on your network. You can store files on it that both computers can access and make backups of both computers on to the drive.


Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Old PC & New PC: Can I Use Both?”

  1. Steve McCusker says:

    I never knew about the KVM switch. It was just what I have looking for. I ran out to Best Buy and found one. It works perfectly. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive