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internet sharing

Posted on 2004-04-13
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Are there different between use internet sharing hardware and soft ware to sharing internet (on linux and windows)
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Question by:teera
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by:slink9
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ID: 10811934
Yes.  Big differences.
You use a host to share the internet through ICS (Internet Connecton Sharing) which is built into Windows.  If the host is not connected nobody is.
If you use a hardware solution such as a broadband router everyone is connected directly to the internet connection.  It is still divided as it is with ICS but at least there is no requirement that one be connected to provide access to the others.

There are three options explained at http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=105
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by:sudev_shetty
ID: 10812622
actuall both of the things do the same thing that is sharing internet
but the difference is the hardware is optimised for sharing the internet and u'll be facing less downtime coz its a firmware and dosent crash easily
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by:tanghz
ID: 10814515
The hardware is stabler and more efficient than the software way.
The software way, you need a computer as a host and you also need a crossed-network cable to connect another machine to the host. if you have more than one machine to attach to the host, u also need a hub or switch to connect them. You also need to set up the host for sharing the internet connection with others.
(maybe need DNS, DHCP configuration).

If you use hardware, you just need a router (most also have the firewall function). what you need to do is configure the router's details according to the manual.
Much simpler.


good luck
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freshair earned 100 total points
ID: 10816645
hardware sharing uses hardware (wiring) and/or firmware (ROM software codes) to do the routing and address translation stuff, there as software sharing does all those purely in software.

sharing with hardware is much faster and stable. virtually all the hardware runs faster than any software and doesn't require any host PC for the Internet sharing, which means users can share the same Internet connection as if each one is having a dedicated line (and the PCs almost treat it this way). the sharing hardware (hub, switch, router, etc.) is a stand-alone unit and can keep alive all the time without any PC being on. and the system status of any PC won't affect the connection at all. further more, most sharing hardware has a firmware firewall, which means the entire LAN is protected by the high-speed, stand-alone unit without the performance and stability issue with the host PC of a software share. address translation and logging is also done by the sharing hardware, which is faster and much less susceptible to software-related performance issues. another thing is, an Internet sharing hardware is generally not expensive and consumes much less power than a dedicated PC for hosting the share, which means you save power on the long run, and your host PC is freed from the sharing task and may be utilized for other purposes. the last thing is, sharing with a router or switch is a simple home-LAN which can be done by anyone, and doesn't require much configuration or network knowledge. the factory default and simple start-up guides are usually all you need. some even provide a CD that prompts you for the required information and does all the setups for you.

on the other hand, software sharing provides some advanced features that are usually absent on consumer-grade LANs. the hardware (router or switch) firewalls, in general, usually don't do much on rule-based and advanced filtering and have limited logging and IP trusting/banning abilities, thereas most firewall software provides a lot of features and customizabilities. you can protect the entire LAN using one centralized PC instead of installing an advanced firewall on every PC connected to an Internet sharing hardware. furthermore, you can setup privacy guards and content filters on the host PC, so that you don't need a spamguard on every PC to filter out junks and spybots. you can log and monitor all network flows in and out of every PC, and assign different access levels and priorities to every PC or user. the network flows in and out of every PC can be automatically assumed to be safe, which means you have a safer and more trustworthy LAN, providing better security for intensive LAN resource sharing. another feature worth menthioning is that only expensive hardware costing several thousand $$$ supports priority and queuing stuff, while doing it in software by a host PC is relatively cheap. so for the price of a PC you get a slightly slower LAN with many more features, I can't say it's a bad deal. and if you are using a high-end server as the host, performance or system reliability isn't much of an issue. if you're an advanced user and wants more features than simple sharing, a software share is better.
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by:mlynch24
mlynch24 earned 50 total points
ID: 10819636
I think the difference is in the money. ICS is free with Win98 and up. All you need is to have the computers link via a network. It could simply be a crossover cable directly from NIC to NIC. ICS is easy to configure and works. However, the bandwidth performance is terrible using dialup, often dropping connectivity down below 31kps.  Hardware solutions such as a Network Address Translation all in one appliance box (D-Link, Linksys, etc) are slick and usually need no configuration right out of the box. It has an IP server (DHCP) issuing private IP addresses to the computers on the network, a built in HUB for their connection and then uses the public IP from the modem or other NIC to connect to the internet. The box translates requests from the private IP computers and forwards them to the public IP NIC.  
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by:slink9
ID: 10821907
ICS is even worse when you START with a 31k connection and then divide that three ways.  Although hardware solutions still divide the connection (ask someone who has a few hundred users on a single T1) they do a better job than software.
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by:slink9
ID: 10821911
By the way, the 31k connection divided three ways is my internet setup.  I am out in the countryside of NC and do not have DSL available yet.  My general connect speed is 32k.
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by:mrobison
ID: 10827659
Have you considered "people multiplexing" so everyone on-line has the full bandwidth, then switch to the next user. There is also going satellite. I have a satellite connection at 19.2 M bit using ICS. Works pretty well with Norton Anti-virus and Firewall.
Mike
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by:mrobison
ID: 10827741
BTW the ICS machine seems to need rebooting A LOT....once a week. It did not do that til 6 months ago. I never had to hold it's hand before. I've not figured out the solution yet.  Probably a cut in bandwidth from ISP and ICS is timing out.  I've tried several of my machines from Pentium 1, 256M to Dual Penium 4, 512 M.  All use Win 2k and are using "Windows Update weekly". No difference.
Mike
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by:slink9
ID: 10828391
My experience with satellite internet is not good.  Actually, it is the experience of one of my customers.  They had DirecWay.  I believe it was down more than it was up.  It costs a TON, too.  They spent $700 for the dish plus installation and then $70 per month for service.
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by:Timotheus1
Timotheus1 earned 50 total points
ID: 10828843
I would say, for $50 get a Netgear Broadband router.

in addidion to providing all the functions that ICS does, it makes if far less likely that a worm that exploits a security vulnerability in windows will affect any of your systems.

(Simply put, Such Viruses knock on a door, (called a port) and try to communicate with the your computer.

Because the router has no clue which computer the worm should be routed to it simply drops the packet. This does make P2P more difficult, because you have to manually set certain ports to go to a computer, otherwise you will never be able to download from someone else who is behind a firewall.

You can forward specific ports to a certain computer, however, to avoid that problem, and as long as those ports (and the P2P programs) arent being used to spread worms you are safe.

Essentially ICS and the broadband routers perform Network Address Translation. when an internal computer knocks on google.com's door the router knows that traffic from google.com goes to that computer.
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by:mrobison
ID: 10833380
slink9 do you have a firewall? If you don't be advised it eats cpu time like crazy. puentium 4 feels like a pentium 2
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by:slink9
ID: 10834076
I don't have a hardware firewall.  I use ICF.  Are you referring to the satellite internet?
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by:mrobison
ID: 10834201
I have a Cisco card in a PCI slot. The Cisco card is 802.xx and has the sat antenna plugged into it. allso in the "server" pc is a second ethernet card. Running on this pc is Norton firewall and anti-virus. As an experiment I tried this pc without either disconnected the rest of my network. It was infected in about 5 minutes. I didn't have anything on the disk except the OS. disconnected the connection to the isp, reformatted several times, and reloaded the OS.  I wasn't sure I believed in viruses before. I did after.
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by:danper
ID: 10848722
Dedicated hardware is better because it can properly use in a 24/7 scenario. Software if cheaper if you have a spare computer to do the same job, but if the computer freezes... you will lost for a time your sharing.
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by:Timotheus1
ID: 10850126
Well, Given the fact that you are on satellite broadband that doesn't communicate with the computer over ethernet, I would say you have no choice but to use ICS, make sure that the server is running MS Internet firewall at least, before you hook up the satellite.
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by:slink9
ID: 10850243
Satellite broadband can be shared with a router.  There is even a router that plugs in to a USB connected broadband.
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