View Full Version : Advice on setup for two PC's, to share a cable modem?

28-06-2004, 10:08 PM
What network setup would you reccomend for two PC's, currently networked with a crossover, to share a Telstra cable connection, as well as regular networking between them?

28-06-2004, 10:22 PM
What operating system are you running on your 2 PCs?

29-06-2004, 04:13 PM
Jamezo's brother here, we have one running XP Home (mine) and one running 98 (james)

29-06-2004, 04:59 PM
Get a cable router like the WRT54G/GS (highly recommend) or if you don't need wireless there are plenty of options on Ascent under the router pages.

29-06-2004, 06:18 PM
All you need is a spare USB port or another network card on the XP PC. The Paradise cable modem can be connected via USB or network card and your current network setup will work fine. The only problem with this is the XP PC will need to be running for the 98 PC to access the internet in which case you will need a router.

Murray P
29-06-2004, 07:17 PM
AFAIK Telstra still will not allow you to supply your own modem so, a modem with inbuilt router is not an option. You can add your own router by USB or ethernet (ethernet preferred) and if it can operate as a gateway you can share your connections without out having to add extra cards or use one of the PC's as a gateway. Or you could set up an old box and install Smoothwall or some other free OS firewall/routing software and do all the above. All it need is the software which you can check out at Distro Watch Firewalls (http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=firewalls) and read up on their capabilities. Hardware such P200, a couple of ethernet card for the box and a switch/hub or a couple more cards to send and receive data from your PC's.

Cheers Murray P

16-07-2004, 03:58 PM
thanks a lot folks. change of plan. we are aquiring another machine.

now the plan is to have all 3 connected by a hub, with this machine as the most central.

so you are saying that we can connect the cable modem directly to the hub? so teh cable modem Telstra supplies has both a USB and ethernet output?

if so, that's very grand. do I need any more information about configorating it all? will the mixed OS's be a problem?

16-07-2004, 05:40 PM
Hi Jamezo,

Perhaps you could explain the purpose and OS of the third computer. If you have got the third one to run something like Smoothwall (http://www.smoothwall.org) as a dedicated firewall/router then you can connect the cable modem via ethernet directly to one of the NIC's.

Then connect all three computers via the hub.

As you will only have one IP address you obviously can't have all the computers connecting directly to the modem so one will have to operate as the gateway.


17-07-2004, 12:17 AM
does that mean that one machine would require two NIC's? or can you connect the cable modem with USB (though isn't that supposed to be slower?)

by 'dedicated', does that mean that it will only function as a server, and not be available for other things? or will the fact that it is the dedicated router not affect how the computer is used?

I do not understand the concept of gateways. if all the computers share the same IP for the internet, how would you specifically connect to one of them, say for an internet game? or would it not matter? if for example you searched for internet games at that IP, and more than one PC was hosting a game, would it return the results for all computers connecting through that IP?

btw, one is XP home, one is 98, and one is 98 but may be upgraded to XP

(sorry, I have so many question about this!)

Murray P
17-07-2004, 01:43 AM
Lets start again.

You have a cable modem, and 3 computers to connect to it. You have 3 basic options:

1) Connect the modem to one of the PC's which has 2 network cards in it (I'm discounting USB because it is less reliable & I won't get into WiFi because I don't want to complicate matters). 1 network card connects to the modem (internet or WAN) and one to connect to a hub/switch which has connections to the other 2 PC's (network or LAN). You will need to enable MS ICS (Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing) or a third party equivalent on the PC that is connected to the cable moden, this PC is your Gateway, i.e. it initiates all the protocols and other necessary action for that PC and the others to connect to the internet, the other PC's will point to it by a method of addressing (IP Address).The Gateway PC will also act like a Router to forward data packets to and from the other PC's to the internet. The Gateway PC must be on for the others to share the connection.

I won't go into the setup yet because you haven't chosen the system you will use. However, although plenty of people have successful connections using 1 PC with ICS it can be a bit unreliable, the other PC's rely on this one PC to be stable and efficient. If this PC is in your bedroom and others want to be online when you want to be asleep, make sure it is a silent PC.

2) Get yourself a router and a gateway. These are additional to the cable modem and sit between it and your PC's. The Gateway acts as the conduit to the internet, it is the device that establishes the connection to the internet via the modem, it houses the required protocols to do this and intitiates them, all the other computers on the network will point to this device in order to connect. The router forwards the data as a router does so that when your looking at Press F1 on the net and your mate is looking at.... whatever your mate tends to look at, you don't get his and he doesn't get yours. These days it is common to get routers and gateways in the same device and more often than not they come in with a built in hub/switch (or even a wireless one but I said I wouldn't discuss that at the mo).

This is probably the easiest and least stressful system to set up and as long as the gear is of reasonable quality they are usually very reliable. I say least stressful only by ignoring what it can do to your wallet but, you could try 2nd hand gear. Only the router/gateway need to be on for any PC to connect. They usually have built in firewall functions as well although, you are still best to use a software firewall on each PC.

3) This one is similar to No 2) except instead of a dedicated router/gateway you get your hands on an old PC, pop 2 network cards in it, one for your cable modem connection and one to connect to a hub/switch and from there to all the PC's on the network.

You could concevably put windows with ICS enabled on this machine but I wouldn't bother. Get yourself a nice wee distro (distrobution or OS. Look in the link in the post further up) that can act as a gateway, router and firewall, proxy and many other useful things to do with networking and serving data. You do not need a monitor or keyboard, you can set up as you would a normal router/gateway by browsing to it from one of the PC's but, the initial installation will be the same as installing any other OS so, there will be a learning curve involved.

Disadvantages are that you are introducing another PC and OS into the mix, it needs to be on for the other PC's to connect but it could be anywhere in the building (older PC's do not need all the noisy fans to keep them cool as per later models). Advantages are that there are many distro's out there with far more functionality than a dedicated device like a router/gateway just doesn't have. You could pick up a box for $100- or less, a P200 to 300 should suffice.

Hope that's as clear as mud now.

Cheers Murray P