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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant


Broadband & Routers
Connecting 2 or more machines to your broadband connection

04 December 2003
John Holstein, Cotse Helpdesk/Support


The Basics. This is a "down and dirty" approach to connecting at least two computers to a cable/dsl connection. It's not comprehensive by no means. This has been proven to work 90% of the time by myself an the folks I have working for me in the field.

What you're wanting to do is connect at least two machines to your new cable or dsl connection. It's not the toughest thing in the world to do, but with a little help, an experienced computer user can handle it.

What you need:

1) At least two computers.

2) Network Cards in each computer.

3) Cable/DSL Modem (you should already have this connected to at least one machine, the cable company should have provided one for you.). The instructions for the cable/dsl modem should have came with it.

4) A broadband cable/dsl router.

Typically, your machine is already connected via the cable modem and network interface card (NIC). Otherwise, it may be connected through USB cables. If it's USB and you don't have or don't know if you have a network interface card, chances are, you're gonna need help. I am not going into how to install a network interface card in this document, so you're on your own there. However, if you are connected through an 8pin rj-45 patch cable (the ends are the same and look like large telephone plugs), then you should be good to go with this how-to. If you're connected with a USB cable, you should stop reading this document, cause it's not for you. The USB cable typically has a small, squarish type plug connected to the cable modem and a flat, rectangular plug into your computer. If it's connected this way, this doc probably won't help you.

Ok, to continue with a standard network card/network cable setup, we'll start by getting a router. The router you need is a cable/dsl router. Many different companie produce such a device and they're easily obtainable at Circuit City, Staples, Office Max, etc. You should inquire with a sales person for help. Tell 'em how you're connected and what you're wanting to do.

Next, once you have the router, we need to disconnect the first computer from the cable modem. Disconnect the cable going from the computer to the modem. Then, disconnect the power for the modem. And finally, disconnect the cable or dsl connection to the modem. This is to "reset" the modem for use with the router. Trust me, if you don't do this, chances are you won't get connected. The modem is "married" to the computer. If you don't turn it off and disconnect it, it will stay married.

Now, we want to connect the router. You can use the directions that came with the router if you want, but there's no use, since this document tells you how to do it. Installing the software for the router is useless when connecting by a cat-5 patch cable. Skip it if you want. I suggest you do, but it's up to you if you don't believe me :-)

You'll need to connect the router's WAN port to the modem's cat-5 rj-45 (large telephone jack) by use of the patch cable that was connected to the modem and the computer. Plug the power into the router and back into the modem. Connect the television cable or DSL line back into the modem. Now take another cat-5 patch cable (should be an extra that came with the router) and connect it from the router's port 2 (if they're not numbered, that's fine, just don't try to use the WAN port), to you computer. Reboot your computer. Repeat the computer setup, plug-in another patch cable to the other computer, etc. You may also try to setup the exact same thing with a wireless router and wireless network cards for your computer. Chances are, you don't already have wireless network cards, so this is an extra expense to begin with. It's easier to do wireless, but I should warn you, it's not secure. Wireless connections can be cracked by a hacker in about 1 hour. That ONE hour.

Chances are, if you have everything plugged in and powered on, when your computer comes back up, you're connected. Some trouble items to look for would be the previous install on the computer was setup as a "static IP address". If this is the case, this document won't cover how to get rid of the static IP. Again, you're on your own.

Comments? Questions? Bugs? Email:John Holstein

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