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Looking for a replacement for Windows Internet Connection Sharing

Posted on 2009-04-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I have a small home network consisting of 2 laptops and 2 PCs.  We share one Internet connection via a CDMA modem (we're in a very rural area, and this is the only highspeed available unless I fork out $$$$ for satellite internet).

This modem configured itself.  I do not know the connection password.  It's own connection software manages it 'dialing' out and connection.  

I can get ICS to work, and share the connection, but cannot get it to auto-connect on boot or save its settings because it demands the password that I do not know and my provider apparently doesn't know either (I asked, they said it's auto generated onboard the device and they don't have a record of it).

So I'm stuck having to leap to the computer each time the connection is lost to restart ICS, or walking someone through it if it goes down during the day when I'm at work.

1. Does anyone know a way around this behaviour of Windows ICS?
2. Or better yet, does anyone know of a product that REPLACES Windows ICS?
3. I'm also looking for something that can monitor the internet usage of all the PCs in my house...I don't care where they go or what they do, but I want to know how much they down/upload so I can track our usage.

Thank you, a priori.
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Question by:Tempest8008
7 Comments
 
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by:smiffy13
ID: 24069815
Is your CDMA modem a stand-alone device with an ethernet cable connection to your PC or is it a USB device? If it's stand-alone, then you should get a router, then you could share your connection without using ICS.
As to monitoring usage, I'm aware of one router that can do this: http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=377018#
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Expert Comment

by:blissbear
ID: 24069819
Wingate is a popular proxy package that also does Network Address Translation and firewall functions for your LAN. http://www.wingate.com/
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 24069827
Are you on Sprint PCS Vision, Verizon, Express network, or something else?.
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by:blissbear
ID: 24069865
I have a CDMA modem as well. My provider couldn't help me with the username/password for the PPP connection that it uses for authentication over it's emulated serial port.

In order to find it, I turned off encryption on my connection's properties dialog and used Bill Serial Monitor (available from http://www.symcod.com/sniffers/index.html) to sniff the negotiation at the beginning of the connection. This also showed me the ATDT dial string.

Then I was able to set up my own PPP connection on my linux box.  Hope this helps.
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by:Gary Case
ID: 24069966
A standard router (as suggested in the first post) will NOT work with your mobile device.   What you need is an EVDO router ==> a router that's designed for use with the mobile cellular devices.   This is an excellent one ... but be sure your specific model is listed on the compatibility page.
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=KR2&main_cat=07&source=googleps

With a router any PC can use the connection with no need for any other particular PC to be on.  This router has wired connections as well, so you can connect either wirelessly or via ethernet cables, as needed.   In other words, it works exactly like a standard router -- but works with EVDO devices.
 
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Author Comment

by:Tempest8008
ID: 24215176
I was really trying to get away without having to fork out for additional equipment.

Right now, the PC that has the ICS running has the CDMA modem plugged into it.
A wireless router is plugged into that PC and is acting as a WAP.

The other systems in the household are setup with static IPs and connect to that WAP.

When ICS is on, the local NIC (attached to the WAP) is given the IP from ICS of 192.168.0.1 and the other PCs on the network are configured to use that IP as their gateway, and voila, all the systems in the house get on the 'net using ICS via that system.

I could use the DHCP that ICS provides, but have found that sometimes (for some reason) the wireless systems in the household don't always pick up an address.  There are only four of them, and I have access to all, so I just set them up as statics.

If no one else has any suggestions I'll split the points up between blissbear and qarvcase.
I had looked into the CDMA Wireless routers, but since I'm the only one inconvenienced in the house, no one else wants to chip in and get one.

Meh, my birthday is coming up...maybe someone will give me the cash I need to get one.

Thanks all
(I'll check out Wingate too...I've tried a few other proxy/firewall products, but haven't been very impressed so far)
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Accepted Solution

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Gary Case earned 500 total points
ID: 24218051
The best solution is clearly to use an EVDO router, but as you've noted, that requires $$

... since it's working fine with static IP's and ICS, you can simply use it that way until you can afford the proper router.   But ICS SHOULD allow that ICS PC to act as a DHCP server if you set it that way --- the problem when you try that is probably that many routers don't pass through DHCP assignments on their wireless ports when their own DHCP server role has been disabled ... if you had a wireless access point instead of a router that should work fine (but that's also more $$ ... and although that's cheaper than an EVDO router, if you're going to buy equipment, I'd get the EVDO router).   Router's can be configured as access points (basically just shut off DHCP & don't use the WAN port), but they don't work as well as a native access point.

... but the ICS DHCP role would work fine if you simply set all the wireless devices to static IP's => your wired devices would get IP's just fine in that mode.

... been a few years since I've used WinGate, but it's a good proxy.   It sounds like your problem, however, isn't that you aren't getting access ... it's just the DHCP issue; and WinGate won't help with that.

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