ICS .......yes or no

I got exposed to ICS in a Windows ME environmnet about a year ago. It had been working perfectly in a small 7 member LAN for probably over a year. The office had to go to XP for third party vendor reasons. They had been using AOL as their ISP with no issues. When I took them (a small medical office) to XP. I wanted to be able to RAS in for remote admin tasks. I don't remember the exact issues but it appeared AOL and remote assistance did not get along. I was going to try pc anywhere, and a laundry list of other apps but that meant training for the staff. They did not pay me to do that.

Now I've taken them to w2k on their server. Their is no AOL. However, no it seems I'm having issues with ICS. The third party vendor rep told me that MS has just announced not to use ICS any longer.  I know there are always those for and against any particular product. However, this guy left me to believe that this was some kind of official annoucement albeit perhaps quite.

Can anyone suggest another product or 3 that performs the same function as ICS albeit 'better' in your mind.

Scott YeahRightGoodGuyAsked:
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spareticusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
you can enable NAT using RRAS without paying any extra money
same functionality as ICS plus more granular configuration

not a firewall as ISA is, but will give you what you had with ICS

BTW, i have not heard anything offical that you should not use ICS, just always heard that NAT was a better choice for administrators that want more control
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Proxy :)

PROXY Server

To enable your PC to act as a proxy server you need to install Proxy software, then configure the clients to use a proxy server for their internet connection.

Download free proxy software at.

AnalogX     http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/proxy.htm
SOLSoft NSM http://www.solsoft.org/nsm/
JanaServer  http://www.janaserver.de/start.php?lang=en&menue=home
DeleGate    http://www.delegate.org/delegate/

Download Traialware Proxy Software at.

EZProxy http://www.lavasoftware.net/en/content/ezproxy/download.htm (15 Days)
Proxy+    http://www.proxyplus.cz/ (31 Days)
EasyProxy http://www.nycsoftware.com/easyproxy/
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
of couse if your using a DSL connection you could just get a swich/router
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
or use the microsoft official product ISA Server http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/
Scott YeahRightGoodGuyAuthor Commented:
ok. This is a really basic question. But WHY does any office of this size NEED a hardware router? I'm not saying I disagree. I'm saying no  ones ever actually explained the details to me of WHY a hardware router is better than software routing via something such as  ICS in a small LAN environment.

I fundamentally understand it in a large enviroment I think. I would think its performance and security issue. Is this true? Perhaps its beyond a two or three paragraph response even for a simple explanation. I'd just like to understand it.
Performance is different between an operating system routing packets, and a piece of hardware designed only to route packets.
If you are going to have a server anyway, then you might as well save the cash and run RRAS on it if that gives you sufficient performance.
If this server will be exposed, then you would need to protect it with a firewall product, but you would want to do that for a router too.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
>>any office of this size NEED a hardware router

Im not saying you do, I have a router/switch/firewall at home yes i can use the functionality of the OS's on my servers to do two of those jobs, but having a peice of hardware do it for me adds another layer of security and stops me having a single point of failiure.

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