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How to Share an Internet Connection, Part One

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In this article, Lon Poole and John Rizzo, coauthors of The Little Network Book, cover modem and cable modem Internet connections and the type of Internet account you need to share an Internet connection among multiple computers.

Adapted from Chapter 5 of The Little Network Book, by Lon Poole and John Rizzo, illustrations by John Grimes

This article is provided courtesy of Peachpit Press.

ONE OF THE BENEFITS of having a local network connecting all your computers is that you don't have to provide a modem and a telephone line to each computer to give it access to the Internet. Instead, all the computers on your local network can share one Internet connection. You set up this shared connection by adding an Internet gateway to your network; this can be a piece of hardware or some software running on one of your computers.

Whether you choose a hardware or software gateway, you'll be able to connect to the Internet through several means: a single regular modem, a high-speed link such as a cable modem, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), or a digital subscriber line (DSL). Windows and Macintosh computers alike can share one Internet connection.

In this article, we'll cover modem and cable modem Internet connections and the type of Internet account you need. Next week, in part two of this article, we'll introduce you to Internet gateways.

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