Networking 2 PCs and sharing a broadband connection - advice please


Sep 17, 2000
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I want to connect 2 PCs together and share a broadband connection but how do I do it?? Someone pointed my to but to be honest I don't know where to start

If anyone could help me out and give some advice to a novice I'd be very grateful.

Cheers :)
You need two network cards in the pc that is to be connected to the cable modem, and one in all the other pcs.

I already had a two pc network running, so I just added another network card, and let the cable engineer connect up to it.

It works fine. You'll need a hub for more than one 2 pcs, but the cable guy did say you can register another 4 nics to the cable modem on-line via self-care (Blueyonder). Not tried that myself though.


An alternative is to get hold of a router (I use the Netgear RP114) and attach that to the cable modem. You then attach the two pc's to the router and away you go.

This way allows you to have either one or the other pc on or both at the same time.

File sharing and the like.

Netgear also do a router which has a parallel port that allows you to print from either pc without the need to have a pc on all the time.

An added bonus is that the RP114 will act as a firewall and mask your pc's from hacking.


Im presuming it isnt as simple as plug in and away you go.......i assume some software would be needed???

Thanks for the helpful replies :)

So Guy, is it really that simple, or do I need some kind of software as well??

Just use Internet Connection Sharing on the PC that connects to the Internet.

Then on the other PCs use the IP Address of that PC as the Default Gateway.

I have this running fine. My Internet PC is a BT Openworld USB Connection Windows XP.

The other connecting PCs are a mix of XP, Win 2000 and Windows 98SE. I use Wireless network adapters in them all :)

Works great. Neil.

The only software you'll need (in my case at least) is Windows and possibly the disk that comes with the network cards. My setup is very similar to Neils (Jenz).

Who are you getting the broadband from? Blueyonder say they will only support the connection to one PC, so they probably won't conect up your router for you, you'll have to do that yourself when they've gone.

Was that the case in your situation Guy?

I have recently done this for my uncle using 2 network cards and the cable. Got all the info from, step by step instruction of how to set it up on different windows operating systems.
I tried the 2 network cards option using ICS and depending on what you want to do with it it might be ok or not. If you want to play games through it then get a router, if its just for basic web browsing it will work ok but keep in mind you'll have to keep the first computer on.

I now use a router (Netgear RP114) which is simple to use and wonderful, it makes things much easier and does offer the extra layer of firewall, although a software firewall (Zonealarm) is also recommended. It also offers the option of adding extra computers at a later date.
I would go the router/hub route if you can - it's a lot nicer than internet connection sharing, as you'll always need to PC connected to the internet switched on.
We're only on ISDN here (too far from the exchange for ADSL), and I use an ISDN router which has a 4 port hub included. Cabled up the house in various places, and it works beautifully. Switxh any PC on, and instant internet access.
For broadband, it will be a similar setup, except you'll need a cable router as mentioned above. The router will have a web like interface to it, accessed through an internal IP address. Here you can enter the connection details such as usernames, passwords etc. Then set your PCs to connect to the internet via LAN, and set the gateway as the router's IP address. Whenever a PC tried to get internet, it will hit the router, which will then pass on the request to the cable modem, and off you go.
A little more expensive, perhaps (cost of router), but well worth it. Good website for more info is this one - lots of info as well as stuff to buy. always seem to be pretty cheap for this sort of thing.

Again, thanks for all the replies :)

It likes the router is the way to..... I'll get one and no doubt be back on here asking for more advice :( :D

Thanks again
It really is that simple.

With regards to the NetGear Router, the only thing you need to set is that it uses the MAC address already registered with your cable company.

Even this is done via your prefered web browser.

Full instructions are given.

One other thing, if you are using any third party firewall software is to set access rights for each computer.

I use Zone Alarm Pro v3.1 and once correctly set up, works great.

Once the router is set up, you need to decide what drives or folders on each computer can be accessed and set access rights but that part is to do with your choosen OS and not the router.

Internet sharing is a good idea on a budget, but for £70 or so, the router is the best option.

I would be happy to help you through any problems, so drop me a line or leave the question here.


On a related security note, a handy web site for checking any vulnerabilities is this one - click on the Shields Up link - it will test if your PC is open to any attacks (not viruses). I found my router (which does NAT - Network Address Translation) was a good defence against this sort of thing.
So I've hooked up my Linksys DSL router and the actual network is working fine I think. The thing is, I've just realised my Acatel Speedtouch broadband modem doesn't seem to have an ethernet port and therfore cannot connect to the router's WAN port.....

What do I do now? I don't need to get a new modem do I??!

Which Linksys did you get? It sounds like you got the cable/dsl fastlink. This will only take an Ethernet connection, you need to get a router with a DSL modem in-built, or one which accepts a USB connection. Personally, I would get a router/modem combo as going through the USB modem into the router is likely to cause a little bit of ping disturbance :p
Yeah that's what someone else said I should do......

The Linksys I have is the BEFSR41 V.2 - does Linksys make a DSL modem/router ll in one? If they do I could exchange it for that...??

The only Linksys router/modem in one I can find is this one

Linksys Router
At present I have one PC linked directly to my cable modem via ethernet. I also have a 4 port hub. If I connect the uplink port of the hub to the modem and any of the four ports to the PC network card the PC can still see the modem. No problem.

If I were to connect a second PC to the hub,

1. would the 2 PCs see each other?
2. would the second PC be able to see the cable modem?

I guess the NIC MAC address in the second PC would have to be registered with the ISP for this to work.

Finally, what is the difference between a hub and a router? Is it just that a router has an uplink port? The documentation for my RS hub never mentions the word router.

TIA for any advice,
A router is an advanced hub (that is the easiest analogy I can think of).

Basically, a hub just connects PCs together, when you send a packet to a hub it distributes that packet to all clients it is connected to. It is up to the client to say it belongs to them.

With a router, it routes the packet to the owner.

Routers are generally more reliable in terms of packet loss etc.

Also, they provide more complex networking abilities like NAT and DHCP etc.

If you run the cable modem into the hub, you should be able to connect both PCs, however you may run into problems when the network traffic gets high as the hub will be distributing the packets to all clients connected to it. I have never really tried using a hub I cannot see why it wouldn't work, just there may be performance issues.
Thanks, Sinzer:)

Does a router have its own MAC address and therefore appear to the modem (and Blueyonder) to be the only item connected?

no problem at all with what you want to do.

i have adsl modem - hub (uplink) - wireless access point - pc upstairs and pc downstairs
coming out of the hub i can connect my laptop via ethernet cable and they will all see each other and the modem.

oh and i have a laptop with wireless card running redhat 7.3 and that is fine too.

i have the adsl modem set up for nat and all pc's have dhcp and dns set up for auto.
i have not enterd one ip address for any of the pcs and the only thing i have had to do is set up the ID for the wireless network for each of the machines ( having said that i didnt for the linux laptop , it just finds a wirelss connection and jumps on board , oh how insecure things really are ).

what you need

SAR703 found here

and a hub somthing like this

and then you can have up to 5 pcs and the above modem all from that hub. all for under £100

or if you wanted to go wireless you could have the above modem and add acouple of usb wireless adapters to your pcs , something like this and a wirelss accesses point like this one

so you have a modem at £60 + 2 usb wireless network cards £50 each and the access point £85

£245 and then if you get a laptop or move rooms you never have to worry about cables etc.
plus you can have as many pcs on it as you want.

to set it up is so easy as well. you only have to install the driver if using xp , win2k or linux.
dont install the software that comes with the cards just the driver !

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