Network Productivity Group

... a computer consultancy


The tip...

Technical tip #39, March 18, 2002. 

In Tech Tip #34, November 11, 2001, we talked about a shareware program for sharing an Internet connection, Sygate.  We were recently asked if we continued to recommend that software, in this case by someone considering using it for sharing a DSL connection.  For those considering using it for a dial up connection we would continue to recommend it.  For DSL or cable, we would recommend considering a DSL router. 

There is some price consideration:  Sygate Home is $40, while a DSL router runs around $80 or more.  Sygate Office is $110 for 5 users and more as one adds users. 

The drawback we found with Sygate is that the "host" machine must be up, running and attached to the Internet.  For some "client" users this was a continuing source of confusion and frustration. 

Even with dial up, Sygate, Windows Internet Connection Sharing or other alternatives only make sense where you need to share a single phone line or ISP ("Internet Service Provider" ala AOL, Earthlink, MSN, or other).  If everyone in the family or workgroup has their own phone line and ISP, you don't need to share. 

Almost a footnote, I've found with AOL that you can't share a single account anyway (the first time I've found them to be non-competitive).  If the main account is logged on, no screenname based on that account can log on at the same time.  This means everyone must have their own AOL account (and AOL accounts are among the highest priced in the industry).  Even Earthlink now allows multiple e-mail accounts on the same base account!  Time to learn to use Internet Explorer and Outlook Express or Netscape Navigator and Messenger? 

Speaking of the last four items, next week we'll tell you about our experiments with "Opera", the "world's fastest browser" (their claim).


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