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Whats the difference between a USB broadband modem and a router?

First of all we have 4 pcs

the server has broadband and file sharing then through thr network wizard we have ICS and file sharing

What exactly does a router do that is different?

Would I need a 5 port router? Would the router replace the 5 port switch and what are the benefits?

Mat
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auraorange
Asked:
auraorange
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2 Solutions
 
neisnerCommented:
When you enable ICS on a server, you are basically turning it into a router.  I assume right now that you have something like this going on:

internet   <----->   server   <----->   hub or switch   <----->    4 pcs

Putting a 5-port router in place of the server will get you to this, since you could plug everything straight into the router:

internet   <----->   router   <----->    4 pcs


So to answer your actual question, a router won't do much different than what your server is doing.
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mikeleebrlaCommented:
in your current setup ALL internet traffic is going "through" your server which is VERY bad.  If you had a router/firewall all traffic would go through your router/firewall. The router/firewall would filter out any type of traffic that you don't want your computers to see. Basically your server is wide open on the internet now and you dont want that.  You need a hardware firewall/router protecting it.
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salvagbfCommented:
Having a router will add a layer of protection to your network that you don't currently have.  Right now, your server is visible to the world.  If you get a router, the world will only see your router and you will have an increase in security.  Also, your server will have a reduced load because it won't have to do ICS anymore and will be able to focus more processing power on its other serving tasks.  Routers also have many more features than ICS does.  You can set up a DMZ if you want computers to be visible to the outside world and many other firewall type features.

You don't NEED a 5 port router (though they're usually 4 port routers) but it'd be worth it to get one.  The one port routers are usually only like $10 cheaper than the 4 ports.  You don't need to get rid of your switch but if your router had enough ports it could replace the switch.  However, if you expand your network at all then you'll be happy that you have the router and the switch.
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neisnerCommented:
I was assuming that you have some sort of software firewall on your server...  mikeleebrla and salvagbf are right though if you don't...  you could be open to the world!
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mikeleebrlaCommented:
but to answer your questions A USB broadband modem actually isn't a "modem" at all technically since it doesn't modulate/demodulate ie transfer analog data to digital data.  The "modem" is basically a piece of hardware that allows your computer to connect to the internet.  A router, as the name implies, routes IP traffic.  In your case it would route all traffic with a destination address not on your lan outside of the router to the internet.  If you were hosting a www server on your lan the router would route all incoming www requests to your www server.  All other "unwanted" internet connections to your network would simply be discarded.  The discarding of all of these unwanted internet connections to your network is the security benifit that a router/firewall would give you and what you want/need.
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IanThCommented:
yes Nat in a router effectively means that your outside ip address is not running windows , all you windows pc's will be inside addresses's

most hack attacks try attacking the outside ip address and a router is not based on windows
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makanaCommented:
I am gonna emphasize on Cable/DSL Modem and Router:

Modem: Could be Cable/DSL or PCI. The operation by them as leebra said  : The "modem" is basically a piece of hardware that allows your computer to connect to the internet, it modulate/demodulate ie transfer analog data to digital data.

Router (Considering Linksys): See this http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=29&prid=561   

But an automated router like the one i have mentioned wont be much helpful in learning routing, btw,  theyre handy for SOHO use.

Makana
A+ MCP CCNA3
 
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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
The feedback is fantastic from all of you, I have a headache working out hwo to split points so I will do it later lol

Thanks all of you

mat
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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
My server was waving to every pc on the planet, thanks for advice I have a software firewall at the moment and looking to invest in several pc upgrades etc soon to rectify things and have it working better and more secure,

mat
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