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Sharing Is Good

Do you have more than one PC in your home? If so, you probably want them both to be connected to the Internet.

If the PCs aren’t used simultaneously, you can have each PC dial in to your ISP separately. However, if you have multiple users who tend to access the Internet on similar schedules, you’ll quickly find that, unless you have a dedicated phone line for each user, only one user can dial in to your ISP at a time.

A better solution is available—especially if you have a broadband (DSL, cable, satellite, or broadband wireless) connection. With a broadband connection you have enough bandwidth to connect multiple computers to the Internet simultaneously—by sharing a single Internet connection.

There are several ways to share a broadband connection between multiple computers, and they all involve setting up some sort of a computer network. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a highly technical network administrator to pull all this together; the process is relatively easy, all things considered.

Caution

Although you can use any of the techniques in this chapter to share either broadband or dial-up connections, sharing a dial-up connection is likely to produce disappointing results, due to the low amount of bandwidth available to each PC. For that reason, sharing an Internet connection is recommended only if you have some sort of high-speed broadband connection.


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