one compter gets internet from a modem. how to share

is there an Ethernet (cat5) cable splitter.

only want internet for two computers

want something more simple than a router (which must be installed and configured)
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
"... want something more simple than a router ..." ==>  

Assuming by "modem" you mean a broadband modem (DSL or cable) -- which seems likely, since you mention Cat-5 -- then It doesn't get much simpler than a router ...

(a) plug your broadband modem into the router's WAN port
(b) plug the computers into the LAN ports

Done :-)

You can avoid the router and use a switch (or hub) IF your broadband provider will provide you with two IP's => but unless you're paying for that service it's very unlikely that's the case.

Alternatively, you could enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) on one of the PC's -- the one you connect the cable modem to -- but then you'd still need a network connection to the other PC for it to work ... which would require either another network adapter on that PC or a router.

In the unlikely chance you're referring to a dial-up modem, ICS is the only way to share the connection.
You need a hub or a switch.  It acts exactly like a "splitter".
The difference between a hub and a switch, is that if more than one computer is "talking" at once, the switch is able to momentarily store and forward the messages smoothly.  If there is a packet collision in a hub, then the messages are retransmitted.  This means that a switch may be slightly faster, but you will probably not notice the difference.  These days, you will mostly find switches.  Hubs are essentially obsolete.
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Depends on the modem and your ISP. How is the modem connected to the PC? USB or LAN? Is it a DSL or traditional telefone modem? Most modems that only have one output will also only supply one IP address, which means only one device can be connected to it and get internet at a time. A normal switch doesn't have any options to do anything about that, you'd need a router (but routers are normally easy to configure, and most of them include a modem, so it would replace your current modem)...

If the PC that is connected to the modem has two LAN NIC's you can use your OS to share the internet connection via the 2nd NIC, but that needs configuration of your OS, and that is usually more complicated than configuring a router.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
You will have a router function one way or another:

- built into the modem
- implemented in the PC connected to the modem using something like Windows ICS
- a separate commodity router - cheap and very simple.  Just plug it into the modem really without much setup depending on the modem and ISP.  Walmart has a Belkin F5D7234-4 for $19.95.
I have found that most new cable and DSL modems do NAT and DHCP, even if they have only a single LAN port.  These are the functions a router performs.

I thinki we can answer this question easily.  On the PC that is already connected to the internet, bring up a command window and type


If you post the results, we can tell you whether you will need a router or just a hub/switch.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
If the router function is built into the modem then either:
- the modem has multiple ethernet ports and the job is done.  You can expand the number of ports with a switch.
- the modem has but a single ethernet port but still provides addresses via DHCP as sjklein42 mentions.  In that case you expand the number of ports with a switch plugged into the modem and the computers as well.
Another clue (that may or may not apply to you) is that any cable/dsl modem that has built-in Wireless support (so you can use a wireless laptop, etc) must have built-in router functions, even if it has only a single wired LAN port.
rgb192Author Commented:
best and easist answer
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