Two PCs using one internet connection?

  Dark Knight 12:54 17 Jan 2007

Simple problem - hopefully a simple answer/solution.

I have just built a second computer that I would like to share an internet conection with the old computer (Both Desktops). I have currently set the two up with a KVM sharing monitor, keyboard, mouse and sound. However, it has become increasingly evident that it would be useful to have both machines on the internet. Currently I have a USB modem that I am unplugging and replugging into each machine as and when I need to connect. Although practical, this will become annoying once the machines are reset to their operating positions.

What is the simplest and cheapest way to get both machines in a position to log onto the internet?

  TonyM 13:00 17 Jan 2007

Easiest and cheapest....Assuming they both have ethernet sockets (if not you will need to install network cards in the machines, but they can be bought for a couple of pounds) ...connect them directly using a network crossover cable.

Leave the modem attached to one machine and run the Network setup wizard to enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) ... it will also allow you move files backwards and forwards between the two

  mgmcc 14:22 17 Jan 2007

To create a wired network for Internet access and File/Printer sharing, you have essentially two options:

1) Install a Network Adapter in each PC (if not already installed) and connect them directly with a crossover CAT5 ethernet cable. “Internet Connection Sharing” is then enabled on the actual Internet connection in the “host” PC and the “client” PC will have Internet access provided the “host” is running and online.

To enable “Internet Connection Sharing” in Windows XP, open the Network Connections folder, right click the actual internet connection (modem connection), select Properties and then the Advanced tab. Tick the box “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”.

When you enable "Internet Connection Sharing" on the Internet connection, it automatically configures the network adapter used for your "Home Network Connection" with the IP address and subnet mask If you have more than one adapter available for this purpose, e.g. both a "Local Area Connection" and a "Wireless Network Connection", you will have a drop down list from which to select the appropriate adapter. The "Client" PC's Local Area Connection should be set to get its IP address automatically, which it does by DHCP from the "Host" PC. Also, if you run the Zone Alarm firewall in your "Host" PC, the Internet Zone Security level must be reduced from High to Medium or "ICS" traffic will be blocked.

2) The preferred option for connecting more than one computer is to use a broadband Router and, with ADSL, this should be a combined “Router/ADSL Modem”. All networked computers connect directly to the router with ‘straight-wired’ CAT5 ethernet cables.

With a router, it is the router which connects directly to the ISP and not one of the connected PCs. The router in turn allocates the IP addresses to the PCs, using one of the address ranges reserved for Local Area Networks, usually

Either of these options will additionally allow you to run File and/or Printer Sharing across the network.

If you are running software firewalls, these need to be configured to allow access to the networked computers, which may involve adding their IP addresses in a "trusted" section.

  Blitzer 12:48 18 Jan 2007

In addition to the very good advice already posted I would recommend that you consider the router option in favour of the cross-over cable. The main benefit of the router is that it enables you to connect either PC to the internet independantly of the other, whereas ICS requires you to have the host PC (the actually connected to the internet) switched on for teh second PC to get access.

Another possible thing to consider is that if you were to get a wireless router this would make your home network more flexible if your requirements of it change at a later date. For example you want to move one PC to a diiferent room in the house, or get a laptop etc. which you could then connect to your network wirelessly.


  Dark Knight 13:55 18 Jan 2007

for your helpful responses. regards

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