Internet sharing should be EASY.


Maybe this is me being dense but this is something that needs sorting...

i have 1 tiscali broadband connection via a broadband modem usb cabled into my pc, i want to share this internet connection with 3 other machines, i have the following questions:

1. whats the easiest way to connect all of the pcs to the internet?-wireless is not an option-

2.what hardware will i need?

3 what needs to be connected to what?

I have ideas of what needs doing but im confused as to the possible solutions that are viable as ive read so much stuff.
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Carlo-GiulianiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If the PC connected to the internet is running Windows 2000, XP, or 2003, then the easiest way to do this is using Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing.  For all we complain about Microsoft, the thing they do best is make things easy.

You will need one ethernet adapter in each PC, including the PC that is already connected to the Internet by a USB modem.  You will also need a small (4-port) ethernet switch.  Just connect all the PCs to the ethernet switch.

On the PC connected to the internet, you will configure Internet Connection Sharing.  The exact details a different in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, but there is pretty good online help in both systems.  In both cases, the basic idea is you designate one connection to be "shared" (the USB adapter connection), and one to be used for your local network.  

You should be able to leave all the other PCs in their default configuration...which will allow them to automatically be assigned private addresses (DHCP) by the PC with the internet connection.  
If you have an ethernet jack on the modem I would get a hub/switch and connect all the devices to that. If the router is doing NAT and DHCP(which most do by default) then your machines should automatically be able to get on the internet if they network cards are set to get thier IP info via DHCP(default setting again on most network cards).  This is the easiest way to do this.
The easiest (and also secure) way would be to use a modem that isn't USB, but ethernet capable, with internal router and firewall. Then you would need a Ethernet hub or switch, ethernet cables to connect all your PCs, and a network adapter for each of those PCs.

The Modem/Router is connected to the broadband connection, the lan output in turn to the hub or switch, and from there every PC.

That's it!
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1  Easiest way is to dump your modem and get a broadband router, Linksys for example.  You could install proxy software to share out the connection but its not advisable as your machine always has to be on for the traffic to out and it will have a performance impact on your pc.

2 Linksys router, 8 port switch, and cat 5 cables to cable the lot together

3 See below

                                        Broadband router
                                        8 port switch
                                        |     |       |
                                     PC     PC    PC

Thats a very basic layout of what you need to do.  Let the broadband router issue dhcp ip addresses to the pcs and they will be able to browse the internet through the router.

Post any further queries
coley467Author Commented:
right ok the modem i have is from tiscali and doesnt have an ethernet port all the pcs/laptops are ethernet able and have 10/100 ethernet ports built in. i was unaware that you could connect the router directly to the adsl line and then straight to all the pcs do all routers do this?  if so which is the best to go for?

thanks very much ac
coley467Author Commented:
why if i had a router would i need a switch as well if the router has multiple ethernet ports out?

In reference to your Q about needing a switch - you don't necessarily need one, as you say some routers have built-in ethernet ports.  I advised on it for scalability reasons - most routers have 4 ports which would be all used up by your pc and the other 3 - so any future networked devices like pcs or a networked printer would require buying the switch anyway.
Linksys do dsl enabled routers - you may be wise to contact your Internet provider to see which dsl router they recommend using with their connections - some ISPs can be difficult with support if you choose a brand they don't like (or know how to use!)
coley467Author Commented:
thanks very much to all but carlo has got the simplest although i will keep your idea in mind nodisco

thanks very much to all who helped.
"  why if i had a router would i need a switch as well if the router has multiple ethernet ports out? "

The reason for that is that many ADSL routers only have one ethernet port going out (Our zyxel prestige 650, for instance). With a hub or switch you can connect 4 or more devices, depending on it's capabilities.
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