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Chapter 17. Setting up a Small Network > Sharing an Internet Connection

Sharing an Internet Connection

To share one Internet connection with every computer on a network, you have two options:

Install a router. A router—called a residential gateway by Microsoft but by no one else on the planet—is a small box that has one jack that connects to a hub and another jack that connects to a DSL, cable, or dial-up modem. A router/hub (about $70) doubles as a hub, sharing the modem’s bandwidth among multiple Ethernet ports that the network PCs connect to. A slightly more expensive router/switch gives the modem’s full bandwidth to multiple computers simultaneously. In most cases, you’re better off with a router than dealing with ICS’s limits, described next. Routers are easy to install and configure, use little power, let any PC go online at any time, and have built-in firewalls. To the outside world, a router appears to be a computer, but one without programs and hard drives to attack or infect. Buy a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) router, which allows programs such as Windows Messenger and Remote Desktop to work.


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