Create a Home Computer Network Without a Router

My friend had an interview last week, and the first question he faced was about creating a LAN without a router or DHCP server.

He was not sure and asked me if it was possible. I told him it was possible and showed him it with two Windows laptops.

We can create a computer network without a router and DHCP server.

We connected two computers directly using a bridged USB cable and started communication between these two computers without the help of any external DHCP server.

A bridged USB cable is different from an ordinary USB cable.

If you read my previous tutorial, you might recall the need for a bridged USB cable.

Can I Create a Home Network Without a Router?

We can create a home network without a router. We use Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) to establish a network if there is no DHCP server (Router) to issue IP addresses.

Windows supports APIPA.

APIPA helps start communication between Windows computers in a network without a DHCP server. However, it can create issues if there is an external DHCP server. I covered this topic in the following tutorial.

How to Use APIPA to Create a Home Network?

All Windows computers support the feature APIPA. So, we can connect multiple Windows PCs without a router, and the APIPA will automatically assign unique IP addresses to each computer.

APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) eliminates the possibility of an IP address conflict.

The limitation I see with APIPA is the lack of support from Linux.

So, let us check how to build a home network without a DHCP server.

In this project, we avoid using the router or DHCP servers. We do not use Etehrnet cable in this connection.

So, no chance for static IP addresses. We use a bridged USB cable to connect the PCs. Both computers will get APIPA from the Windows Operating System.

APIPA will assign IP addresses in the 169.254.X.X range. All computers in the IP range 169.254.X.X can communicate with each other.

The IP address range for APIPA is

All APIPA computers can communicate with each other as their subnet mask is (Class B address). The subnet rules say the network address of APIPA is, and the broadcast address is Any address that comes in between this range can communicate with each other.

An APIPA device cannot access the Internet.

Because it is a private IP address, we cannot use APIPA to get the Internet connection to our computers. For Local networks and Intranet, APIPA is enough.