Networking 101: Connecting More Computers to Your ICS Internet

November 9, 2011, By George Lang

Welcome to Device Magazine’s new weekly series, Networking 101. We promised to elaborate on the powerful features of Microsoft’s Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) software in last week’s article. We explained how you can share your laptop Wi-Fi Internet connection with other nearby computers. This week, it’s all about adding even more computers to that connection so that they too can access the Internet—for free!

Recall the scenario where your laptop is upstairs in a corner bedroom and accesses the Internet via a wireless connection because the wireless router is all the way down in the basement. We showed you how to use ICS to connect an ancient Windows XP desktop to the laptop so that you can use its hard drive for storage, backup, and as a media server for your music and videos.

Now, your little sister in the bedroom next door saw how you did that and wants to connect her pink desktop to the Internet also. Since she has promised to protect your interests from parental interference on the grounds that you do it for her, you coyly pop a hole through the wall behind the dressers in both rooms and route an Ethernet cable to the network interface card on her computer (such activity not recommended for those  young enough to be subject to being taken out to the woodshed with a switch).

Next, you add a hub, switch, or router and place it next to your laptop. You use a short Ethernet cable to connect the router’s common port to the laptop’s Ethernet port. You then plug both your desktop and your little sister’s desktop into the routers individual ports. You now have Internet access for all three computers, your parents are none-the-wiser, and you do not have to pay your internet service provider (ISP) a dime more—take that Comcast and Verizon!

Next week we will show you how to set up the software to network them all together and share your music and videos; and so that you can use your little sister’s printer (and she thought you were doing it just because she had you over the proverbial parent trap).

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