The Five Steps to Network Sharing Nirvana!

There are five steps that you’ll need to take in order to share your cable modem connection:

  1. Connect your computers into a Local Area Network (LAN).

  2. Configure the computers on your LAN to use the TCP/IP protocol that they’ll need to connect to the Internet.

  3. Select and install the software or hardware that allows the single Internet connection to be shared.

  4. Configure the other computers in your LAN so that they access the Internet via the shared connection.

  5. Secure all the computers in your LAN against intruders.

A few definitions might help minimize confusion as you read through the site:

  • Sharing Server – This is the computer (or hardware device) that is directly connected to the Internet, generally via some sort of modem.  This is also referred to as a Gateway or Router.

  • Sharing Client – This is the computer that is not directly connected to the Internet.  It depends on the Sharing Server for its connection.

Note that a Sharing Server or Client can be running MacOS, Windows 95/98/NT, or *nix (variants of Unix) operating systems.  You can also mix these various types of computers in the network.  The only requirement is that the computers have Ethernet interface cards and that they support the TCP/IP protocol.

I recommend you read through the steps before you start to do anything, since you may need to buy some additional hardware or software before you can get started.  I also recommend that you follow the steps in the order given above.

Your mileage may vary…

My cable ISP was MediaOne Express in the Boston area.   This system is a full duplex (two way) system, with both download and upload traffic flowing through the cable system.  Your system may work differently and require a very different configuration.

Got all that?  Good!