Network Productivity Group

... a computer consultancy

 

 
 

Technical tip #55, October 20,  2003: A "mea culpa" and an update on Internet Connection Sharing.

Mea culpa.

Yes, we've been had.  We put too much trust in our LBUSD contact.  The UPS uniforms/eBay story was just that: a hoax, according to some of our contacts.  We apologize for helping to spread this one.

Internet Connection Sharing

I doubt you've followed the whole history of NPG and Internet Connection Sharing but let me bring you up to date.  We first heard of it when we all had Windows 98 SE and gave it a try.  We gave up trying to get it to work and gave everyone their own phone line (actually one shared amongst all four machines).  This worked fine as long as only one person at a time wanted to be on the Internet.  We then heard of and tried Sygate.  It also did not work for us or several of our clients.

In the mean time we had signed up for DSL and tossed Sygate and got a DSL router.  This worked great - with one caveat which I will describe in a second.  We got most of our clients to go the DSL router route - so to speak - and we all seemed happy.

The only problem we encountered with the DSL router, a Linksys, was that one of our users is an inveterate "chatter" and this seemed to cause the other users to encounter DSL performance that was often the speed of dial up or slower, a real problem.

More "in the mean time" went by and we upgraded the main computer to 1.7 gigs running Windows XP Pro.  And then the router died an untimely death.  And its warranty had expired.  In what we thought would be an interim solution we tried Internet Connection Sharing on the new machine.  Not only was it easy to set up, including getting all the other machines to "see" it (one Windows ME, one more XP Pro and one XP Home) but it does not seem to have the problem with chatting that the "real" router did.  The only drawback is that the host machine must stay on for everyone else to have Internet access.

So, if you need to share an Internet connection you may want to consider XP Pro rather than a router.  At this time Pro would cost more than a router, however, XP Home would not.  We have not tried ICS with Home.  In general, we like the XP product, its speed, reliability, new function and would be inclined to lay out the cash to go that way.

If you do go this way don't forget to turn on the built-in firewall or buy a better one.

 

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