Internet Connection Problems

Up until a few days ago we had three computers in which each had their own individual modem. Due to the fact that paying for three different modems was just too much, we decided to get rid of two modems and keep one. So we purchased a broadband router. So we have the modem connected to the router, and then we have each of the three computers connected to the router. All three computers have a connection to the internet, however, the connection seems to skip. By this I mean that the computers seem to lose connection temporarily. For example, on AIM, out of the blue, a dialog appears saying "Attempting to reconnect..." This happens three to six times an hour. The same thing happens on gaming servers. Except the gaming servers don't have an auto-reconnect function, so I simply just get disconnected. If anyone knows what the cause of this could be and knows how to fix it, please let me know.
I'm new to all this router stuff. I don't know too much about them. What I do know is that the signal shouldn't be skipping like this. I've spoken to a bunch of online friends who have a similar network setup as me, however, they don't have this problem.
Also, I was looking for a couple of opinions from anyone who is experienced in this sort of thing. Before I ask the question, let me explain what computer-life is like in this house. As I already explain, we have three computers in the house. One of the computers is used very seldom. It's only for my mom who needs to e-mail or occasionally browse the web for something. However, it is a completely different story when it comes to the other two computers. My dad and I are HEAVY gamers. He's always playing Everquest or one of his RPG games and I'm always on XBConnect (a popular server which allows online play of Xbox games) or I'm playing some sort of RTS game (such as StarCraft, WarCraft, Age of Mythologies, etc.). Chances are, if we are home, we are on the computer playing our games. So here is where I want your opinions. Considering our computer lifestyle, would it be worth it to keep two modems and pay the extra thirty-five dollars a month and just share a connection between one of our computers and my mom's computer (the one that is seldom even used). Or does sharing the connection between me and my dad even make a difference on gameplay (lag). I think it does, it seems as if lag has been worse, but then again, it's hard to tell if it's the actual sharing of the connection that is causing this lag or if it's just a bad host.
I'm also open to any suggestions on how we should network our home so that it's as efficient as possible for all of us.
One last thing: I have so many different questions about routers and networks in general that it would be quite difficult to discuss them on a forum. So if anyone is willing to educate me =) my AIM screen name is Se77imo VII. I'd really like to chat real-time with someone who knows a lot about this stuff so that I can learn easier. Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it ;)
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  1. The easiest solution would be to use a combined modem and router like me, it may be a bit of an investment but it would pay off in the long run.
    I dont know what the problem with your current set up is, does every computer on your network have a a fixed IP address or are they assigned by a server?

    Why use windows when you can use doors?
  2. Are you by chance using a 802.11x wirless connection? I would assume not, but that would probably be the problem if those were the circumstances. As mr. above said, if you are using the router as a dhcp server for your lan, (which you probably are, as it is usually the default), there is the slight chance that your computer has problems renewing dhcp leases. Make sure on your router configurartion that the dhcp client lease time setting is as long an interval as it can be. But since you said the dropoffs occer frequently, i doubt this is the problem. As to your questions about bandwidth usage, a cable modem will have enough bandwidth for two gaming comps running at the same time. (Remember, those games are optimised to run on 56k too). I also would be happy to answer any of your other network related questions, as i think i know a little in that area. Aim is zybhjk. Please do ask me anything :)
  3. I don't think I know what jammydodger means by using a combined modem and router. My DHCP lease is set to 0, however, next to it in parenthesis it says 0 is equal to one day. Is that good enough? I don't know if that is the max or anything, I didn't try changing it because I didn't want to mess any of my settings up. I tried fiddling around with my router settings once before and ended up terminating my internet connection completely. I had to call up Linksys and they told me to reset my router settings and go from there, in which I got my connection back. I'm not using an 802.11x wireless connection. The router that I'm using is a Linksys model BEFW11S4. It's a broadband router that I have connected to three different computers. Two by network cables (RJ-45) and one by a wireless connection.
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