How to “Share your ADSL”

How to “Share your ADSL”

Now this is simply how I’ve gone about this task, it’s not a complete guide with every detail explained.

Now it’s not too difficult but the main point is how much you want to spend. If like me you want to do this as efficiently as possible, by that I mean, as cheaply but and as reliably as possible.

The first thing you’ll need is an ADSL connection now this can come from a variety of ISP’s these days. I’ve had experience now of two, PIPEX and BT. If you order this service you may have a USB modem supplied, however, you can save some money by requesting a ‘wires only’ package. This means that the ISP will turn on you connection but will not supply you with a modem.

Therefore the first you need to buy is a modem with built in router. Now as this is based on my experiences and the five people that have also installed the same setup, I choose the Conexant Router. It is reviewed on the ADSLGuide site. The ADSLGuide site has reviews of other devices which may meet your needs, but in my experience the conexant is just fine.

For help setting up the Conexant, here is a site that explains all the settings and what the variables need to be.

There are two versions of the conexant, a single ethernet version and a four port version. I plumped for the four port version as this gives you greater flexibility. If you go for the single port version you may already have (or will require) a hub (or switch) to be able to share the connection. It may be worth going for a single port device and buying a larger hub, say 8 port, if you wish to share your ADSL connection with more than 4 machines. Don’t forget to check out if you need a ‘crossover’ cable

You’ll need network cards in all your machines too and again you can get these from Dabs for as little as 8ukp. I’d suggest following the manual for installing the card but here’s another guide.

OK, so you’ve installed you router and install your network cards, now you’ll need some Cat5 cable to connect it all up.

Now it’s all connected you need to assign IP addresses to your devices. Now the range of IP addresses you choose is entirely upto you, BUT, I suggest using the private address range of 10.0.0.0 as this range can’t be routed over the internet and provides a certain level of security (to be discussed later) for you. I can only suggest assigning the first IP address in the range, in this case 10.0.0.1, to the router. It’s then upto you how you assign the IP addresses to the other machines in your network.

Here’s the information you’ll need to enter into the other machines you wish to share you ADSL connection.

IP address: 10.0.0.X *1
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0. *2
Default Gateway 10.0.0.1 *3

*1 where X is the number in order of you machines starting a 2.
*2 This means you can have 254 IP address in your network, but this could be 255.255.255.240 to give you 14 addresses or 255.255.255.248 to give you 6 addresses. (Here’s a site that explains this in a bit more detail)
*3 This is the IP address of your router and if you follow my suggestion it’s 10.0.0.1.

To testing all this is relatively simple, just call up a DOS prompt and type “ping 10.0.0.1” in the DOS box of any of your machines. If it’s successful then you’ll get the following message “Reply from 10.0.0.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=64”, if it fails you’ll get a message like this “Destination host unreachable.” I’m not going to provide any help here on what the problems could be but make sure it’s all connected up correctly and you’ve followed all your manuals to the letter!. But the ADSLGuide forums are a good place to start if you need help.

Having setup all this up which shouldn’t take too long, it’s a good idea to jump over to the ADSLGuide site again and do a speed test to see the performance you’re getting from your ISP. Now I consistently outperform the best ISP as listed on the site, which I take to indicate that the router and setup is doing it’s job as effectively as possible.

If you have any queries eMail me and I’ll do my best to reply.

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