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Using one line from cable company for two computers

Last response: in Systems
November 23, 2010 9:55:58 PM

Can I just buy a splitter for the ethernet cable for two computers or do I have to buy a 5 port switch
November 23, 2010 10:17:22 PM

A router will work fine.
November 23, 2010 10:37:44 PM

You can also start out with Internet Connection Sharing ("ICS"):

But, the computer that is connected directly to the cable modem
needs to remain ON, in order for the second computer to access
the Internet via the first computer's ICS feature.

ICS will eliminate the need for a router, because the
ICS host will do the "routing".

Note that you'll still need a hub or switch (see diagram at link above);
and the host computer needs 2 LAN ports:
one to connect to the cable modem,
and the other to connect to the switch or hub.

If you have only 2 computers, I believe you can
eliminate the hub / switch, and wire the second computer
into the second LAN port on the host computer.

But, it's been a long time since I used ICS, so
please confirm this latter point yourself.

I do recall needing to revert to fixed IPs on
both computers, in order to stabilize ICS.

November 23, 2010 10:54:11 PM

p.s. A good solution for a SOHO LAN is this:

cable modem connects to a router
which also supports a few 10/100 RJ-45 ports

router connects to a Gigabit switch
using one of the router's 10/100 RJ-45 ports

each computer connects to the Gigabit switch,
ideally via Gigabit LAN ports (Intel's LAN cards
are terrific for this application).

In this fashion, intra-LAN file transfers occur
rapidly -- using the Gigabit switch and ports.

Internet access is handled by the modem & router
which doesn't need to support Gigabit ports
due to the slower speed of the Internet connection.

Even if the Internet connection runs at 50 MHz,
a 10/100 router port has plenty of bandwidth.