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What is the best Network Setup?

Greetings,
Being a semi-newbie to computers, I would like to know which way is the best way to set up a home network between 2 computers.  I was told these are the only ways to do this.

1.)  To set up as Internet Connection Sharing server, whick shares its Internet connection with another setwork computer
2.)  Set up the computers with one as an Internet Connection Client, which accesses the Internet through another computer
3.)  Create a bridge between 2 or more network connections, combining them into a single logical connecton.

Also, why can you not just get a phone splitter and hook each one into it, like you would two phones?

I need the EASIEST way and ALL steps listed because I am TOTALLY in the dark on ALL of this, please?
 
KISS works really well for me!  LOL
Thanks!!!
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Twylyght779
Asked:
Twylyght779
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lrmooreCommented:
KISS method - forget 1 through 3 above.
There IS a thing that works like a phone splitter - it's called a broadband router.
I must assume that you have cable or DSL broadband Internet.
1) go to nearest office supply/computer store/electronics store and buy most any "broadband router". Get one that has a 4-port 10/100 switch (Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, etc)
2) plug the cable modem/DSL modem into the WAN port of the router
3) plug all PC's into the 4 LAN ports of the router
4) set all PC's to "obtain IP address automatically"
5) enjoy the ride!
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Twylyght779Author Commented:
No, unfortunately all I have is my phone line.  When we moved to the country we had to loose our cable high speed connection.  :(   So, with one phone line and two people wanting to use the internet about 16 hours a day, what is my best bet?  Thanks again!
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crissandCommented:
One computer will have the modem and a network card. The other one will have a network card. If you don't use a hub/switch, connecte them together with a crossover cable. Install tcp/ip protocol on both, give the one with the modem address 192.168.0.1, and the other one anor address from the 192.168.0.xxx network. network mask will be 255.255.255.0 on both. Give the computers the same workgroup name. Now, enable Internet connection sharing on the computer with the modem, activate the firewall too, if any, enable (if you want) the posibility for both computer initiate a dial when the Internet connection is needed (this is done in the modem connection configuration after enabling Internet connection sharing). Now go to the second computer and configure the netwrok tcp/ip properties like that: default gateway: 192.168.0.1, dns: 192.168.0.1. That all, but very generic because you didn't tell what operating system is installed on the two machine.

For the problem with splitting the phone line, it is possible, but not advisable and must be done by the phone company. The connection speed will drop very much, to 9600 or 4800 bps, because the phone line splitting is done by chopping the audio signal; don't forget that the phone line works analogic and the modem too (if it's v90 it's asymetric, download at 57k6 and upload at 33k6).
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Twylyght779Author Commented:
Sorry about the lack of info.   The main one is a Compaq Presario with Intel Celeron D Processor 325, 256 MB SDRAM, 40 GB hard drive, Integrated 10/100 Base-T Network interface, and is running Win XP Home on it.  The secondary computer,( which I gave to my friend and wish I hadn't--I liked it much better than the Compaq I have now)  is a HP Pavilion with Intel Celeron processor 1.1 GHz, 384 MB SDRAM, 60 GB, with Win XP Pro.

I can relate to the decrease in connection speed.  If I am lucky, on a GOOD day, I connect at 48Kbps!  LOL  So, I don't want to do that, for sure!

I pretty much got everything on how to set the two up to work together, I think!  Any problems and I 'll be back!  I am assuming I can get the cable at like Circuit City or somewhere similiar?

Thanks again!
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