DC, Take some measurements first
There are so many security problems with wireless that it is not even practical at this point in time, unless you just don't care about security. Wireless from room to room requires wireless connections that depend upon radio waves rather than light to carry the signal containing the data that travels between the computers on the network. That means that anyone with a little knowledge of radio frequencies or an identical system can tap into your network and intercept data, even gain access to your computers. Therefore, in my humble opinion, your best bet to date is a hard wired network.
First of all, although it may seem to be only 15 feet or so between your two machines, keep in mind that aside from drilling holes through the base of your wall (which requires drilling through the rat seal--a 2x4 nailed to the floor to which the wall studs are nailed), you may prefer to run the cable along the ceiling or along the floor from one computer to the room where the other computer resides. Figure at least 18 additional feet if you run the cable along the ceiling. To get an accurate measurement, use a 25-foot measuring tape or measure in increments: from each computer to the wall, along the wall to the doorway, distance from the floor to the top of the door frame, distance along the wall and/or across the ceiling from one room to the other, etc.; then add all the measurements and round up to the next foot.
Next, you do NOT need a router for the network connection between two computers. However, if you decide to add a third computer or wish to provide access to a friend with a laptop, you will need a router. Since all routers today have a built-in hardware firewall, they are relatively secure. Since you stated that you are connecting two computers, I will concentrate on that fact and not speculate about further or future connections.
The only thing you need, other than ethernet cards for each computer, is a crossover cable. A regular networking cable will NOT work for direct connections between two computers. It must be a crossover cable. Crossover cables are available in 25-foot increments, beginning with 25 feet in length. That is the least you should use. If your route between computers (see earlier measurement info) is more than 25 feet and you cannot shorten the distance, either go to the 50-foot cable or have a local computer tech make you a crossover cable the length you need. I would opt for the prefabricated cables to be sure the crossover is done properly.
Once the crossover cable is connected, decide which computer is to be your primary, or host, computer from which your Internet connection and printer sharing will come. It is usually the host computer that is connected to both the Internet and the printer (about the scanner in a moment). However, if your Internet is connected to one computer and your printer to the other, that is no problem either.
When you have decided which computer is your host computer, use the Network connection wizard to establish the network. You will then be asked to make a disk containing the necessary files to set up a compatible network connection on the other computer. To save time and aggravation, you should do this. Insert the disk into the drive of the second computer and then run the setup from the disk.
For the printer sharing, simply opt to share your printer with the other computer on the network.
As for scanners, Grif is absolutely right. Scanners do not do well as shared peripherals. The only satisfactory option there is to dedicate the scanner to one computer and use that machine for all scanning operations. You can, however, easily set the scanner settings to save the scanned images to either computer. It is far easier to share image files than it is to scan from a remote scanner.
Oh. Crossover cables can be purchased at any computer store and from Staples and Office Max. Wal-Mart only carries regular network cables, and despite the manufacturer's assurance on the package that you can directly connect two computers, that is not true. Again, you must have a crossover cable to get a proper and satasfactory connection.
I hope this helps.
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