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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004
Related CategoriesNetworking In General
So, you've got multiple computers running Windows, and multiple people in your home or business who are active Internet users. But you only have one Internet connection. How can you all browse the Internet, read e-mail, chat online, and download files at the same time? The solution is built right into Windows - and it's called Internet Connection Sharing. This article explains Internet Connection Sharing in detail, and is designed as a practical guide to help you set it all up.
Now, let's lay down the basics. This article assumes that you have a working knowledge of the Windows operating system, and a basic knowledge of simple Windows networking - and that the computers you wish to use are already networked together, and the network and internet connection are functioning correctly. If this isn't yet sorted out, then you may want to start out with one of our networking tutorials.
There are many different ways to set up Internet Connection Sharing, but for the purposes of this article, it is assumed that you have two or more computers connected via a hub or switch. The instructions in this article are also for Windows XP - instructions for other versions of Windows will be coming in future articles. Your host computer (the one with the connection) will need to be running Windows XP, but the other computer(s) can be running any version of Windows.
The other varying factor that this article will focus on is sharing a 56k modem connection. However, other types of connections (eg. cable modem) are quite similar, so you shouldn't have any problems using this article if you are in that situation.
Configuring The Host
Remember, we're assuming from here on in that your network is functioning correctly (i.e. you can transfer files between computers) and that your host computer can successfully connect to the Internet.
Click Start > Connect To. You'll see the network connections that are present on your computer. Right click the connection you use for the Internet, and select Properties. Move to the Advanced tab, then select Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection. Two other options will be available to you: Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet and Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection. You can select these if you wish.
Next, we need to check your computer's IP address. Click Start > Run. Type in cmd and click OK, and the command prompt will open. Now type in ipconfig (you'll need to type winipcfg if you're trying this in Windows 98) and press Enter. At least two IP addresses should be displayed - one for your internet connection, and one for your network. The one that we want to look at now is your network connection IP address. It should be 192.168.0.1. If it isn't, we'll need to change it so it is - because for Windows Internet Connection Sharing, it is assumed that the IP address of the host computer is 192.168.0.1.
Giving the Host Computer a Static IP Address
If your host computer's IP address is already 192.168.0.1, you can skip this step. Otherwise… read on.
Open up the network connections folder like we did before, but this time click on Show all connections. Now right click on your local area connection, and click Properties. Find TCP/IP in the list of items that your connection uses, and select that then click Properties. You'll then need to make sure that Use the following IP address is selected, and type in 192.168.0.1 as your IP address. Note that the dots are already inserted.
Finally, enter 255.255.255.0 as your subnet mask, then click OK and OK again. It should take a few seconds to update, and then you're set. You may be asked to restart your computer - if so, then restart it before continuing.
Configuring The Clients
Now we're ready to configure the client computers. For this bit, we'll assume you're running Windows 98. It won't be too different for other versions though.
From the desktop, right click on Network Neighborhood. Find TCP/IP in the list, and select that and click Properties (if there is more than one TCP/IP listing, use the one that also mentions your network card). There's three things to do here:
- - On the IP Address tab, make sure that Obtain an IP address automatically is selected
- - On the WINS Configuration tab, make sure that Use DHCP for WINS Resolution is selected
- - On the Gateway tab, remove any gateways that may be listed
Now, open up Internet Explorer (or your favourite browser), and navigate it to a site. If everything is working properly, you'll see the site!
What If It Doesn't Work?
In my experiences with networking, the same thing frequently doesn't work more than once. Therefore, I know that there will be some of you who are reading this and just can't get it working. Every situation is different, so if you can't get it working, don't give up!
Good luck with your network!
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