Speed and Network Hub Issues

tommyboygdh used Ask the Experts™
OK, if anyone can help out here, then it would be muchly appreciated because it's driving my housemates insane.

We've got broadband internet via NTL, but because everyone in the house has a computer, everyone wants to use it. We've got 600k by the way. So I'm the host computer as the modem is in my room.

The modem is connected to my computer via a USB cable, and also we have a 10Base T Ethernet Hub (Mini), which has 6 ports, 1 of them is a uplink port. This is connected via my network card.

3 other computers are connected via the hub, and we have set up a network etc. - I'm the host computer and I direct connectly to the internet, and the others connect through my computer to access the internet. If my 'puter is off, or on standby, their access disappears.

Problem that we've got is that it's pretty slow, granted, we understand using a hub for this is not the way to do it, but this is the real problem. If I leave my computer for say about 10 minutes, without any screen savers or power options coming on, it cuts everyone off anyways. If you move the mouse on my computer, it puts them all back on, but it's still pretty slow.

Is there any way possible within the current setup we have to establish a better connection, or to stop my computer cutting everyone off or slowing their connection down?

The cable modem has a Ethernet port, but it doesnt seem to like having anything connected to it. If anyone could suggest something, that be great.

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You should replace the hub with a FastEthernet Switch (10/100). linksys,netgear,d-link, smc make inexpensive ones

Also connect using a router.  again linksys,netgear,d-link,smc make inexpensive ones.

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