Sharing an Internet connection

Extra IPs — configuration

Configuration is minimal. You simply have to make sure that all of your computers are set to obtain an IP address automatically. Since this is the default setting, it probably hasn’t changed unless you consciously modified it. To check, however, access your Network Properties (in Win9x, Start » Settings » Control Panel » Network; in WinXP, open Properties for Local Area Connection in your Network Connections folder). Then open the sub-properties for TCP/IP. The setting should be immediately visible and easily changeable.

After that, you should be able to obtain Internet access on any of your computers. If not, proceed to the troubleshooting page. If so, congratulations—but you shouldn’t stop there. Without a router or sharing software, your computers are fully exposed to the Internet. Thus, a minor security mistake (like sharing files with full access) could expose your computer to the hackers of the world. For your own sake, protect yourself by installing a firewall. I suggest the free and excellent ZoneAlarm.

Once that’s done, why not reward yourself with a nice bit of speed tweaking?