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Sharing a Cable Modem


Genofish

Question

I am using US Cable with a cable modem for the net. I recently purchased another computer. How do i connect both computers to the cable modem? Both computers are Windows XP

Thanks

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21 answers to this question

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Go buy a "router", normally wireless as well as wired from Best Buy or the store of your choice. Plug the cable from the modem into it. Run a cable from it to each computer. Reboot everything.

Done.

Actually using the wireless is more complicated. And don't forget to turn on encription on the wireless so folks on the street don't get a free ride.

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Yep. Buy a router. I had the same deal when I shared a place with a roommate and we had two PC's. A hub or switch won't work. The router will "look" like a computer to the cable modem as they are assigned only one IP address. The router, or you, will then assign IP addresses for each PC connected to the router. It's pretty easy to set up as mentioned above.

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Thanks for the replies so far. I tried a switch and didnt work. I will get a router and then decide to go wireless or not. It might be best to go wireless right away.

Thanks again

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If the computers are far apart, go wireless!! Like mentioned before, when you set up everything initially- follow the set up and secure (encrypt) your network...

Good luck- you will enjoy

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If you go with wireless be sure to use some sort encryption and authentication. If you don't, not only can someone hack your access point and use your service, they can capture and view any or all info you are sending back and forth across the web.

I would stay with a bigger name like Linksys or D-Link, just for the ability to get support if needed. And most now days also combine a small switch along with the Cable/DLS router, which means you can attach another computer by wire too(if close by or you are willing to run the cables).

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Just make sure you get a router and not a Hub. The hub will allow internet on both computers, but not at the same time. We purchased the hub once to try to save a few bucks.. oops.

As long as your computers have network cards it will be quick, if you dont have network cards you will have to get USB network adapters, or install network cards to connect to each machine. Once the hub is installed your machine should recognise the internet connection without being properly networked. Networking has a few bugs of its own, and often more of a pain than its worth.

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I would also recommend Netgear. I got mine cheap and it has worked great. I would also recommend getting one with wireless capabilities even if you don't plan to use wireless right away. I don't think the wireless feature on a router really adds much to the price but you'll probably end up using it in the future and you won't have to go buy a new router.

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Go with a Linksys WRT54G. Hook it to your cable modem and then one port to your current computer. I like to make that first connection wired (less stuff to debug when things go wrong). For the wireless connections make sure you use fairly strong encryption.

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You guys that recently went wireless, what did it cost. I have two two year old dell desktops and a new dell laptop. The laptop already has the wireless technology. So I believe I would need two wireless cards for the PC's and a wireless router, correct?

Setting one up isn't brain surgery is it? A person that is fairly knowledgable with computers can do it, right?

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I second the Linksys router as its the one I have and love. I had d-link with many problems. Also Linksys is a part of Cisco. Can never go wrong with Cisco certified equipment.

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Pick up any Sunday ad from Bestbuy, Circuit City, CompUSA and you will see lots of home network equipment.. Routers probably average $60-70 and cards are $30-60. You could probably get everything you need for $100-150.

You could save money on one of the wireless cards if you just setup the router next to one of the desktops and hardwire that one. FYI...make sure you see what kind of internal wireless your laptop has. There is A,B,G....and different cards and routers won't work if they are not the same technology.

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If you buy the router with a built in switch and the 2 PCs are in close proximity to the router you can run CAT 5 cable to them and not but the wireless cards. Usually you can get the router for $50 and the wirless network cards for around $40. So depending on what you need you can set it up for $50 to $150.

And yes if you can read the directions you should be able to set it up yourself. Just be sure to set up the encryption.

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I can't stress the security thing enough for the wireless deal. I consider myself to be quite saavy when it comes to this stuff. I'm told a couple times a week that I really should be doing this for a living.

At any rate, too many people just, "plug and play". For example, as I am typing this I can currently access three other networks. Here's the scary thing, if those people share any of their files, I have full access to them.

I would recommend the D-Link equipment. Linksys is also very good (probably better) but usually a little more money I have had no so good luck with Belkin and Netgear, their signal just doesn't compare to the D-Link.

If anyone has any questions, ask away, I'm sure I can help out.

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dtro, Good point. Most people living in a multiple unit dwelling can access other peoples systems simply because they don't pay attention to the security.

Like others said, you probably don't have to buy wireless cards for your two existing PC's. Just buy a wireless router and connect the two (and laptop if you want) via ethernet connection to the router and the router to the modem.

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Installing a wireless network is relatively easy and inexpensive; properly securing it is a little more challenging. Wireless routers that are geared towards the consumer market sacrifice security for ease of setup. If all you do is follow the "quick install" instructions on most routers, your network will essentially be wide open. While some unauthorized users may just take a "free ride" on your internet connection, others will exploit your network for more ominous reasons (sending spam, downloading child porn, obtaining your personal information, hacking other networks, etc.).

There are numerous security features you can enable, but the settings outlined below should fend off most unauthorized access. All of these steps should be well documented in the User Guide that came with your router. Be sure to read the manual carefully, and post questions here if you have any.

1. Disable SSID broadcast

2. Change the SSID name

3. Change the router's admin password

4. Enable WPA security if your router and devices support it, WEP security if they don't

Keep in mind that enabling security will require you to manually configure the wireless connection settings on every computer and device that accesses your wireless network. I'd be happy to go into specific details on what the steps above are actually doing and why you want to do them, but you probably have enough to digest for now.

Good luck!

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I just picked up a wired/wireless LinkSys router for $39.00 after rebates. OK - not really the point.

The point is about the security. This model has a button on the front that claims to set up the security features automatically.

I have not read the details since I configure manually, but sounded like if you stuck will all LinkSys stuff of the current vintage, all that wireless security stuff could be one-touch setup. This would make it much easier for the average person to implement better wireless security.

Also, not sure how many ISPs look at the MAC address, but in some cases it may be necessary to clone the MAC address of the computer "officially" connected to the network into the MAC address of the router to get service. Otherwise, the ISP network may not see the right computer MAC and refuse connection to the network. This is not such a big deal as it sounds, you just connect the router and the "official" computer and enable MAC address cloning in the router setup before plugging any other computers into the router.

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I think you're referring to the new Secure Easy Setup feature for Linksys routers. I haven't actually gone through the SES process myself, but based on the documentation it appears that it creates a custom SSID, most likely disables SSID broadcast, enables WPA security, configures each wireless device, and creates a user defined administrative password for the router. So in other words, it does everything I outlined in my previous post automatically. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

The only potential issue I see with this is it looks like you will need to have SES compatible network cards from Linksys in order to run the automated security configuration process. If not, you'll still have to configure your wireless security manually. Either way, it's very important to have a basic understanding of wireless security and how your particular wireless network is secured.

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Listen to dtro and the rest about security for wireless networks. I, too, can see some neighbors networks that are wide open. I wrote an article on WiFi network security for the American Bar Association a couple years ago. The advice being given here about security is very sound - follow it, or get someone to help you follow it! Use WPA over WEP encryption whenever possible, for sure.

PS - I've recently switched to Qwest DSL from cable due to high cable costs, and the standard Qwest DSL modem is actually an all-in-one DSL modem / wireless router with WPA. It's a decent piece of consumer equipment. I had a Linksys Wireless-G Rev 4 wireless router before, and a Netgear 802.11b wireless router before that. The Netgear was flakey and needed resetting a lot, the Linksys had a great signal (a bit better than my new Qwest/Actiontec router).

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I set up a Linkys last summer so everything is not real fresh. The easy secure system only works with their wireless cards and have heard it doesnt work well so I wouldnt buy it for that feature.

Computerboy made some good points disable SSId - SSID broadcast that you have a wireless network, with it off you are invisiable to the world around you. I write everything down as I go through the setup such as SSID, passwords etc. If you make a mistake you can use the reset botton to reset the unit back to the default settings.

The range on a wireless system is not great and will have problems going through to many walls. There are signal boosters you can get.

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