Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router — and by extension, your network — is as secure as possible.
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I recommend not using two of the
same exact NIC (especially 3COM, since users have reported problems
with multiple 3COM NICs). The main reason for this recommendation
is that it will be easier for you to tell the NICs apart when you go to
configure their Properties in the TCP/IP Control Panel, and when you run
the winipcfg utility.
Adding the second NIC is probably the most difficult part of getting your
Internet connection shared. Many of the emails that I receive tell
long tales of woe and struggle with this step.
These new alternatives create the need for exceptions to the "Two
NIC" rule, and require a shift in thinking from "Two NICs"
to "Two Network Adapters" in the case of software-based sharing
So here's the list of "Two NIC" exceptions
(and here's hoping that you don't get totally confused by this)...
Exception 1: Internal cable or DSL modems
Since the modem connects directly to your computer's internal bus (usually
via a PCI slot), you don't need a NIC to connect to it. Just one
NIC (or phoneline or wireless or powerline network card) in the Sharing
server is needed to connect to the LAN.
Exception 2: External cable or DSL modems with wireless, phoneline
or powerline-based LAN
In this case, one Ethernet NIC is needed to connect to the cable/DSL
modem, but since your LAN is not Ethernet based, you don't need a second
Exception 3: Hardware router
The router handles the job of keeping your LAN separated from your ISP's
network and also handles sharing the Internet connection. All
you need in this case is one NIC per computer.
(When hardware routers or "residential gateways" or whatever
other term the marketing folks come up with, appear that handle Wireless
/ phoneline / powerline connections directly, this exception should
be interpreted to be one network-adapter-of-the-proper-flavor per computer.)
Exception 4: Multiple IPs The only case in which you
can't create a separate network is if you are using the multiple
IP address method of sharing.
In order for the multiple IP address method to work, all computers that
require Internet access need to be connected directly to the ISP's
network, usually via a hub or switch.
In the Multiple IP method, you need only one NIC per computer.
Exception 5: External cable or DSL modems connected via USB
In this case, one Ethernet NIC is needed to connect to the LAN, but
since the cable / DSL modem is connected via USB, you don't need a second
(Thanks to Jason Aubrey for the tip!)