Dial up Networking

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Steven Campbell, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. I'm looking for some help / info on the following:

    I'm stuck with dial-up connection as Broadband isn't available in my area
    (UK) and doesn't look likely in the very near future.

    I want to network my Desktop PC with my daughters Desktop PC so we can both
    access the internet at the same time. I realise it will be slow but am
    prepared to put up with it until Broadband arrives.

    I thought it was just a case of getting 2 network cards and a switch and
    obviously wires and that would be me sorted but after reading several web
    pages I'm not sure what I need.

    The dial-up connection is via an internal modem.
    Will this internal modem be able to plug into the switch? Or will I need to
    purchase something else?

    Does a hub and switch basically do the same thing?

    The more I search "informed" websites the more confused I'm becoming.

    Thanks in advance for any help / links / info.


    Steven Campbell, Oct 15, 2003
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  2. Steven Campbell

    Rob Hemmings Guest

    You need an ethernet card in each PC and one cross-over
    ethernet cable. Then run the ICS (Internet Connection Sharing)
    wizard on both PCs which will allow the PC which doesn't have
    a dial-up modem to access the internet via the PC that does.
    If you let us know which version(s) of Windows you are using,
    then we could give you more specific advice.
    Rob Hemmings, Oct 15, 2003
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  3. Hi Rob,
    Both PC's are running WinXP pro. Would your suggestion above allow file
    sharing also?

    cheers Steven.
    Steven Campbell, Oct 15, 2003
  4. I should maybe have mentioned my daughters motherboard has LAN and I was
    toying with changing my MB to the same one. Would that have any bearing on

    Steven Campbell, Oct 15, 2003
  5. Steven Campbell

    Geoff Lane Guest

    Seeing your later post saying both machines had XP pro, I assume both
    machines are up to date - most new machines have their own on board or
    built in Network cards.

    It's not that slow uless one is downloading music and the other is
    trying something else.

    For normal web browsing DUN is not too bad.

    Geoff Lane
    Geoff Lane, Oct 15, 2003
  6. Steven Campbell

    Rob Hemmings Guest

    No - onboard LAN will work fine, and filesharing can be done too -
    it's all pretty easy in XP Pro. :)
    Rob Hemmings, Oct 15, 2003
  7. Sorry to be a pain Rob but can I just summarise that i can get an Ethernet
    card for my PC and connect it via cross-over Ethernet cable to my daughters
    PC which has built in LAN
    change my MB (which I'm hoping to do soon) with LAN on it and connect both
    via cross-over ethernet cable?

    cheers for your help

    Steven Campbell, Oct 15, 2003
  8. Steven Campbell

    Geoff Lane Guest

    There are so many options with networking that the more you think
    about it the more complicated it can become :)))

    It is however fascinating.

    Your option above is probably the easiest but the most flexible is a
    cheap switched hub (only about 20ukp), then no worry about cross-over
    cables (Not quite so easily available).

    Geoff Lane
    Geoff Lane, Oct 15, 2003
  9. Steven Campbell

    Bernard Peek Guest

    There are two basic options.

    The first is to network both machines together using Ethernet. One
    machine will have the internal network card in it and that machine will
    have to be switched on whenever anyone wants to use the Internet. It
    will have "Internet Connection Sharing" set up. I think this is the way
    you should go. The Ethernet connection can either be a hub, a switch or
    the machines can be connected using a crossover cable. If you only have
    two machines then a crossover cable is probably the best option. For a
    two machine network you probably won't be able to detect any performance
    difference between a hub, a switch and a crossover cable.

    The second option is to use a separate box to handle the Internet
    connection. This is a router. It routes traffic to and from the
    Internet. You probably want to switch to this configuration when you get
    broadband. You can get a combined router/switch that you can plug
    several machines into. There are routers that work using analogue
    dial-up lines, this is usually used as a backup to some form of
    broadband connection. When you have a separate standalone router you
    only need to switch on the machine that needs to talk to the Internet,
    each machine can connect completely independently of the other.

    There are other reasons why you might want to keep one machine switched
    on all of the time. You can set up shared disk space so that another
    machine can copy files across as a backup. Don't rely on that as your
    only backup system but it's a quick-and-dirty protection against
    accidentally deleting a file.
    Bernard Peek, Oct 15, 2003
  10. Steven Campbell

    Rob Guest

    Geoff has a good point. I gave you the cheapest option for that
    scenario, but as you'll probably want to connect more things to
    your setup in the future (eg broadband, another PC) then the above
    is the way to go. With a switched hub, you can use standard (and
    cheap) ethernet cables.
    Rob, Oct 15, 2003
  11. Any suggestions for a switched hub that can accept an internal modem? That
    is where my confusion started. One of the on-line network configurators said
    I had to change my modem to one that had a "serial connection"

    thanks again

    Steven Campbell, Oct 16, 2003
  12. Steven Campbell

    Geoff Lane Guest

    That's odd, not sure what that means.

    My daughter's laptop (XP home) and my own Win98 both have internal
    modems and sharing is no problem.

    I don't think there is anything to choose between switched hubs, there
    is very little 'technology' for them to be different.

    Geoff Lane
    Geoff Lane, Oct 16, 2003
  13. Steven Campbell

    Bernard Peek Guest

    In message <bmlilc$klj$>, Steven Campbell

    That is probably true. You can only fit internal modems into PCs and
    although it is possible to use an old PC as a router it may not be what
    you want to do right now. I suggest you at least consider it as an
    option. It might not be the right option for you but may suit other
    people following this thread.

    What you would do would be to install the modem into a PC and set up
    that PC as a router and firewall between your internal network and the
    Internet. Initially this new machine would use your internal modem and
    later you would add an ADSL broadband modem to it. When I say a new
    machine I mean new to you, a new high-spec machine would be an overkill
    for this job. In practise you would either buy a cheap second-hand PC or
    upgrade an existing machine and use one of your current machines.

    To keep your software legal you would either need to buy a new Windows
    license or use Linux. Personally I would choose one of the purpose-built
    Linux firewall systems, either IPCop or Smoothwall. The complication
    there is that some internal modems will not work with Linux. I can't
    tell whether your modem is one of those.

    The advantage of interposing a firewall system is that your Windows
    machines would not be directly connected to the Internet, which would
    make it more difficult for crackers to attack it. Some form of firewall
    is advisable when you use a dial-up connection and pretty much essential
    when you have an always-on broadband connection.

    The advantage of a Linux firewall is its flexibility. The disadvantage
    is that it is relatively noisy and uses more electricity than a
    dedicated hardware router. It also needs a separate switch or hub.
    Bernard Peek, Oct 16, 2003
  14. Steven Campbell

    Rob Morley Guest

    Not if you bung a load of cheap ISA NICs in it :)
    Rob Morley, Oct 16, 2003
  15. Steven Campbell

    Bernard Peek Guest

    Yes, you can do that if you know enough about Linux to roll your own
    firewall. It's not something I'd recommend to someone who doesn't
    already know Linux. The ready-rolled products like Smoothwall and IPCop
    aren't flexible enough to handle that sort of configuration. (Although I
    haven't looked at Smoothwall recently.)
    Bernard Peek, Oct 16, 2003
  16. ..............Snip...........

    I didn't mean literally put an internal modem in to a switched hub. What I
    meant was will a switched hub accept the lead that comes from my internal
    modem? (Standard telephone jack) The on-line configurator I tried seemed
    to suggest I had to have a modem with a serial port. It states "Note that
    unless your existing ADSL Modem has an RJ45 connector or 56K modem a Serial
    Port, it will not fit to any of the routers we sell"

    cheers Steven
    Steven Campbell, Oct 16, 2003
  17. Steven Campbell

    Bernard Peek Guest

    It's technically possible to build a device that combines all of the
    functions you want. Whether anyone actually does so I don't know. I
    doubt it. I would expect that most devices expect you to plug in an
    external modem because that would also cater for people who want to use
    an external ISDN terminal adapter.
    Bernard Peek, Oct 16, 2003
  18. Which brings me nicely round to my original question of "Will this internal
    modem be able to plug into the switch? Or will I need to purchase something

    Thanks for your time Bernard
    Steven Campbell, Oct 17, 2003
  19. Steven Campbell

    Bernard Peek Guest

    In message <bmp0g8$gfh$>, Steven Campbell
    You will need to buy something else, just what depends on what you
    decide to upgrade next.

    The three choices are:

    a) Get broadband
    b) Get a third PC
    c) Get a router that supports external modems and broadband

    If you choose a) then you buy a combined router/switch/broadband modem
    into which you plug your existing PCs. Your internal modem becomes

    If you choose b) then you need to buy a hub or switch into which you
    plug your existing PCs. You continue to use your existing internal modem
    via Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) until you get broadband. Then at a
    later data you need to buy a broadband modem capable of plugging into
    the hub.

    If you choose c) then you need to buy a router that supports both
    broadband and an external serial modem, together with a serial modem.
    Your existing internal modem becomes obsolete. Instead of using ICS it
    is now the router that controls the dialling. Any of the PCs can request
    an Internet connection and the router will dial out. At some later data
    you add broadband instead of the external modem. If the router you get
    has a built-in switch then that is all the hardware you need. If it only
    has a single network port you will also need to buy a suitable hub or
    Bernard Peek, Oct 17, 2003
  20. Steven Campbell

    Webmaster Guest

    Steven Campbell reckoned that:
    That will do fine, but I would get some sort of firewall aswell, ZoneAlarm
    seems to work OK. Assuming you are using Millenium Edition or above just
    run the internet connection sharing wizard from teh first machine and
    follow the instructions.

    Start > Programs> Accessories > Communication > Internet Connection Sharing

    If it's not there then you need to go into control panel > add/remove
    components > windoes setup > communication and tick the box to install the
    A hub means you don't have to buy crossover CAT5 cabling.
    It gets easier, believe me.
    Webmaster, Oct 19, 2003
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