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Urgent: Most economic way to share one internet outlet connection

Hi. Thanks in advance for your response.

A very straightforward question really. There is an office with one outlet for plugging into the internet. I have two computers in there. What is the most economical way to share that outlet so that the two computers can be networked. I.e. hub, router, switch, etc. Thanks very much.
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frogpad
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frogpad
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2 Solutions
 
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Sharing an Internet Connection

To share an Internet connection you have the following options.
1.      Use Windows ICS (internet connection Sharing)
2.      Use Some Proxy Software
3.      If your using Cable/DSL use a dedicated switch/router
4.      If you using Windows 2000 Server use NAT under RRAS

*****ICS*****
Since Win98SE all versions of windows have been able to use ICS. One PC has an Internet connection and shares it with other Computers (Hosts) on your network. For a full description of ICS see http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/ics/ics.htm
To set up ICS..
For Win98  http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/ics/icsinstall.htm
For Win ME http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/ics/icsmeinstall.htm
For Win 2K http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/ics/ics_win2k_install_dup.htm
For Win XP http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/xp_ics/serverdialup.htm
To Troubleshoot ICS
http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/ics/ics_troubleshoot.htm

*****Proxy*****
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.
Business users see
ISA Server http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/
Wingate http://www.wingate.com/
Small Office and Home users see
FREE
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/
TRAILWARE
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/

*****Router/Switch/Firewall*****
If you have cable or a DSL connection this is the best (though not the cheapest route) to go down. This equipment will plug into your exiting router and do the work for you, you can also get them with built in wireless.

This is what I use (with 54g wireless)
http://www.linksys.com/Products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=601
Cheaper option (slower wireless)
 http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&scid=35&prid=544
Cheapest Option (No Wireless)
http://www.linksys.com/Products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=561

*****Using NAT under RRAS*****
See
HOW TO: Configure the NAT Service in Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;310357
HOW TO: Configure a Windows 2000 Server as a Network Address Translation Server
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=299801
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infotraderCommented:
I think getting a router/switch/firewall is actually the cheapest way to go in the long run.  Here's why:

1. You'll need a hub/switch anyway since there is only one outlet.  A typical HUB or switch would cost you about $20 anyway.  If you don't go that route, you can use a cross-over cable to connect the two machines, but that requires one of the machine to have 2 network card, which would cost you (if not material, time and effort).  Plus, the cross-over cable are typically a little more expansive and provides absolutely no expansion capability to your network.

2. If you do ICS or similar method, then 1 computer will ALWAYS have to be turned on to share the connection.  This might cost you more money in the long run.

3. Maintenence cost - It is typically easier to have something go wrong with ICS than a pre-built, let's say, Linksys router.  The cost to support the ICS might actually be higher than to replace the router/firewall once it is done.

4. You can get a cheap router with switch/firewall/router capability all built in for about $25 now if you look hard enough...

- Info
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frogpadAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I appreciate both your comments.

Take good care,
frogpad
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
ThanQ
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infotraderCommented:
thx = )
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