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Setting Up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) in Windows XP

You will need to designate a Windows XP computer as the host. This computer must have two network adapters, one for your internal network and one for the Internet connection. Before attempting to enable ICS, verify that the host computer has a working connection to the Internet through the network card connected to the cable modem or DSL line, or on the network connection associated with the modem

1. In Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections and then click Network Connections.

2. Click the local area network (LAN) connection or the dial-up networking connection that you want to share (that is, the one that connects to the Internet), and then, under Network Tasks, click Change settings of this connection.

3. Disable Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks by clearing the check boxes shown in Figure 1. This step is extremely important. Never leave these items enabled for any network card that is directly connected to the Internet.

4. Click the Advanced tab, and select the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box.

5. You can enable or disable the allowing of other users to control the connection—users don't need to be able to control the connection to use it.

6. Under Internet Connection Firewall, select the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box for this network card, unless you have another firewall between the computer and the Internet. This is very important.

7. Click OK, and Internet Connection Sharing will be enabled.

Note: You must have administrative rights to enable ICS. After enabling ICS, verify that Internet connectivity is still functional on the host computer before testing the client computers. Remember to leave the host computer on all the time or turn it on before the other networked computers, so the client computers can request an IP address from the host.

Troubleshooting ICS

If you have a problem with ICS, the best place to start is the Internet Connection Sharing Troubleshooter. You start the Troubleshooter with the following steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.

2. Under Pick a Help Topic, click Fixing a problem.

3. In the left pane, click Networking problems.

4. In the right pane, click Internet Connection Sharing Troubleshooter and follow the instructions.

The Troubleshooter can address problems such as not being able to receive e-mail on an ICS client, the client or host computer fails to dial out or dials out without notifying you, you're unable to browse the Internet from a client or host computer, or your DSL or cable modem connection is slow. However, if the Troubleshooter leaves you troubled, here are some other common problems and their solutions.


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