Internet Connection Sharing For
Your Home Or Small Office Networks!
With Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), you can connect computers on your home
or small office network to the Internet using just one connection. For example,
you have one computer that connects to the Internet by using a dial-up
connection. When ICS is enabled on this computer, called the ICS host, other
computers on the network connect to the Internet through this dial-up
When you are setting up a home or small office network, it is recommended that
you use the Network Setup Wizard in Windows XP Professional to enable Internet
Connection Sharing. The Network Setup Wizard automatically provides all of the
network settings you need to share one Internet connection with all the
computers in your network.
- To start the Network Setup Wizard, click Start, point to Settings, click
Control Panel, and then double-click Network Setup Wizard.
After ICS is enabled, and you make sure that all of your computers can
communicate with each other and they have Internet access, you can use programs
such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express as if they were directly connected
to the Internet service provider (ISP). When a request to the Internet is made,
the ICS host computer connects to the ISP and creates the connection so that
other computers can reach a specified Web address or download e-mail. To test
your network and Internet connection, see if you can share files between
computers and that each computer can get to a Web address.
Internet Connection Sharing is intended for use in a network where the ICS host
computer directs network communication between computers and the Internet. It is
assumed that in a home or small office network, the ICS host computer has the
only Internet connection. While other computers on the network may have modems
to access the Internet, their primary connection is through the ICS host
You might need to configure the Internet Connection Sharing computer to work
properly across the Internet. Services that you provide must be configured so
that Internet users can access them. For example, if you are hosting a Web
server on your home or small office network, and want Internet users to be able
to connect to it, you must configure the Web server service on the ICS host
You must enable ICS on the public connection of your home or small office
network. If you have more than one network adapter installed on your computer,
you need to choose the local area connection that communicates with the rest of
the computers on your home or small office network. This is also called the
private network connection. If there are two or more local area connections,
when you enable ICS, you must do one of the following:
- Select one connection to connect to the rest of the computers on your network.
- If you have two or more local area connections, and all of them connect to the
rest of the computers on your network, you need to bridge the local area
connections before you can select the connection to your home or small office
network. If you choose to create a network bridge that includes all of the local
area connections to your network, the bridge is automatically selected when you
enable ICS. If you create a network bridge that does not include all of the
local area connections to your network, you can still select the bridge as your
- You should not use this feature in an existing network with Windows 2000
Server domain controllers, DNS servers, gateways, DHCP servers, or systems
configured for static IP addresses.
- The ICS host computer needs two network connections. The local area network
connection, automatically created by installing a network adapter, connects to
the computers on the home or small office network. The other connection, using a
56k modem, ISDN, DSL, or cable modem, connects the home or small office network
to the Internet. You need to ensure that ICS is enabled on the connection that
has the Internet connection. By doing this, the shared connection can connect
your home or small office network to the Internet, and users outside your
network are not at risk of receiving inappropriate addresses from your network.
- When you enable Internet Connection Sharing, the local area network connection
to the home or small office network is given a new static IP address and
configuration. Consequently, TCP/IP connections established between any home or
small office computer and the ICS host computer at the time of enabling ICS are
lost and need to be reestablished.
- If a VPN connection is created on the ICS host computer, and ICS is enabled on
this connection, then all Internet traffic is routed to the corporate network
and all of the computers in your home or small office network can access the
corporate network. If ICS is not enabled on the VPN connection, other computers
will not have access to the Internet or corporate network while a VPN connection
is active on the ICS host computer.
For more information about creating a
virtual private network (VPN) connection, see
Let me know if you need anything else.
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