Date:         Wed, 2 Feb 2000 20:26:45 EST
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         BobRankin@AOL.COM
Subject:      TOURBUS - 01 Feb 2000 - Share Your Internet Connection
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             TOURBUS Volume 5, Number 63 -- 01 February 2000
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      TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Sharing An Internet Connection
Do you have more than one computer in the house or office?  If so,
then you probably have more than one person (kids, spouse or co-
workers) wanting to get online at once.  Today's TOURBUS will show you
how to do that WITHOUT having two modems, two phone lines, and two
Internet accounts!
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A big thanks goes out to the makers of Spreadsheet Assistant,
OfficeClick and ShagMail for sponsoring this issue of Tourbus!
My daughters are always wanting to go online for games, email or web
surfing.  Even though I have two computers in my office, it wasn't
possible to have both online without adding an extra phone line.
When I found out that I could network the computers and share not only
the Internet connection, but also the hard drives and printers, I was
VERY happy.
After some research, I found that there are several types of home
networks (also called LANs) you can use to get the job done -
Ethernet, AC power, phone line, and wireless.  Then there are
different speeds, price points, and ease of installation issues to
consider.  I'll tell you what I chose, then give a roundup of some
other options.
Ethernet has been around for a long time, and is considered the
standard for networking computers in homes and businesses.  Ethernet
is popular because
  - it's fast
  - it's inexpensive
  - it supports PC, Mac and Unix computers
If you bought a computer recently, it may have come with an Ethernet
adapter card pre-installed.  If not, you can an Ethernet kit with two
adapters, a hub and cables for under $100.
I chose the D-Link DFE-905 Networking Kit (about $85 at BUY.COM)
because both the hub and cards have auto-sensing to support both
standard (10 Mbps) and Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) speeds.  The DFE-905
kit supplies two 100 Mbps adapters, but auto-sensing is important if
you want to add another computer to the network which has a 10 Mbps
adapter, OR if you want to connect your fast adapter to a slower hub.
Here's a quick overview of how to setup the Ethernet hardware:
 - open the computer case and insert the Ethernet adapters
 - connect the adapters and hub with RJ-45 cables
 - reboot your computers
The DFE-905 hub is a small black box a bit larger than a wallet, and
the cables are a lovely neon blue color.  :-)  Now, to make it all
work, you've got to setup the software side.  For Windows:
 - Windows should auto-detect the new Ethernet cards and install the
   necessary software drivers.
 - Go to My Computer -> Control Panel -> Network, then enable "File and
   Print Sharing" (do this for both computers)
 - Go to My Computer -> Control Panel -> Windows Setup -> Internet Tools,
   select Internet Connection Sharing, and a wizard will guide you
   through the setup process. (do this for one computer ONLY)
The Internet Connection Sharing feature is available in Windows 98
Second Edition and Windows 2000 only.  If you need help with Internet
Connection Sharing, here's a helpful article from Microsoft:  
If you don't have Win98SE or Win2000, you can try All Aboard, WinGate
or other solutions described and downloadable here:  
If you're not afraid to open your computer case to install adapter
cards, and you're willing to fiddle with Windows networking settings,
Ethernet is an excellent choice for setting up a home network.
I don't use a Mac, so I can't tell you much about setting up an
Ethernet network on a Mac.  But Adam Engst, MacWorld columnist and
editor of the Mac-oriented Tidbits newsletter can!  Here's his
excellent guide to Mac networking:  
As I mentioned before, there are other types of networks you can use
to share files, printers and net connections.  Ethernet is by far the
fastest, and generally the cheapest, but not the easiest to setup.
If you're not a geek, consider alternatives such as AC, phone and
wireless networks that eliminate the hub, messy cabling and in some
cases, the need to crack open your computer to install an adapter.
...use the electrical outlets and power lines in your house to connect
two or more computers.  Wherever you've got a power outlet, you've got
a network jack - pretty cool!  And since the adapter connects to the
parallel port on your PC, you don't have to open the case to install
it.  The downside is speed.  At 100K bps, it's 1000 TIMES slower than
a Fast Ethernet connection.  Maybe okay for sharing a 56K net
connection, but file and print sharing will be painfully slow.  The
Passport Plugin Network by Intelogis is available for $53 at BUY.COM
(or $190 from OUTPOST.COM, your choice).  For more info, look here:  
...use regular telephone wiring in your house to connect computers,
and don't interfere with voice telephone usage.  If you have a phone
jack near both computers, you're in business.  Phone wire networking
kits cost $50-$200 and offer speeds up to 10M bps.  The Intel Anypoint
is a good example, and costs $79.  For more info, visit:  
...use radio signals to connect computers - no wires at all!
Wireless networking kits with two transceivers will cost between
$150-$250 and offer speeds ranging from 38-500K bps.  Installation is
fairly simple, and can be via a parallel port, a PC Card, internal
PCI/ISA slots or USB.  Read this CNET article for more about wireless
That's all for now.  Happy networking, and see you next time!  --Bob
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
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