Vista File Sharing and ICS

Neighbors are allowing me to share their WiFi internet connection, which I am receiving on a WiFi equipped desktop Vista PC. I have successfully set up local mirroring of the WiFi internet by enabling Internet Connection Sharing and connecting a wired ethernet port on the PC to the internet port on my router. This way I can also use the internet via WiFi laptops and other devices connected to my local router. In summary, the network topology is:

Cable Modem -> Neighbor's Router -> Vista desktop PC Wifi connection -> ICS -> Local Router -> Other internet devices

This all works great. My question is, is there any way to set up the network so that I can also use file sharing between the Vista desktop PC hosting the ICS and other downstream computers over the local router? The desktop PC has two wired ethernet ports, and I thought to connect the other to the local router as well using a regular router port in addition to the internet connection port, but this seems to disable the internet connection.

I can't seem to find any discussion of this particular issue. Thanks for any information you might have!
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  1. Best answer
    Don't use the WAN port of the local router, use a LAN port. Using the WAN port creates a new subnet and prevents access to the clients behind the WAN port due to the firewall. All you really need is switching (LAN ports), not routing (a WAN port).

    However, you now need to make a couple of adjustments on the local router. First, assign it a static IP of and disable its DHCP server. Now all the clients of the router will get their IP configuration from ICS's DHCP server.

    NOTE: What would actually be a better long term solution is to form a wireless Ethernet bridge between your wireless router and the neighbor’s wifi and place ALL your PCs behind it. That way you don’t create a dependency on having your PC always up and running just so others devices can have Internet access. In fact, some routers support a mode called WISP (Wireless ISP) that does this very thing. Or you might find a dd-wrt/tomato capable router that can be configured for WISP, or if you’re lucky, maybe your present router is already dd-wrt/tomato capable.
  2. Ah, thanks much - sounds good. I had tried using a LAN port instead of the WAN, but of course the router's DHCP got in the way since I didn't think to configure it as you describe (seems obvious now!). I think this will probably work and will report back when I get a chance to try it. Good point about the wireless bridge, which I will probably get if this turns into a long term setup. Unfortunately my current router is a cheap Netgear G router (WGR614) so I don't think there is any alternate firmware or capability to turn it into a bridge itself.
  3. FWIW, according to the dd-wrt database, WGR614 v8 and L are supported. If either matches your router, you could install dd-wrt and configure it for "repeater" mode giving you WISP between your router and the neighbor, and wired and wireless clients behind it.

    But if you're content w/ using your PC for now, that's fine. Just so you're aware of the possible options, if only for the future.
  4. Thanks again eibgrad - my WGR614 is a v6, and from looking around it seems most of these have only 1MB of flash while dd-wrt requires 2. So probably close but no cigar; I'm not sure how you can tell for sure without opening it up and checking the chip number. But I didn't know dd-wrt supported so many models or that the repeater mode existed, so that is definitely some good information! I really need to spend some money on network gear but am unemployed at the moment so making the most of what I've got.

    After setting the router IP address, turning off DHCP, and using a LAN port for the desktop PC, everything is working great! So other than having to have the PC running for now to use the internet anywhere, things are good!
  5. Best answer selected by RyanBiggs.
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