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Windows Networking

The Cable Modem Router I use at home is a 'LINKSYS EtherFast Cable / DSL Router' [Model # BEFSR41]. You can get more info & see pictures of it here.

I like this specific model because:

  • It works with Cable Modems & DSL connection (so if you switch internet providers, you can still use this equipment)
  • It is pre-configured for cable modem usage (one less thing you need to make changes to).
  • It has a built in NAT firewall (this is enabled by default. It helps protect & hide your computers from hackers while on the net.)
  • It has a built-In 10/100 4-port switch (this means you need not buy any additional hardware & can connect up to 4 computers directly to this router before needing to purchase extra network switching hardware.)
  • It is capable of supporting up to 253 users (which means with a bit of extra CHEAP switching hardware, you can connect up to 253 computers/laptops to your single cable modem or DSL connection.)
  • Lastly, it has a built in DHCP server. (this means the router configures most of the computer's network settings for you without you needing to do anything. As long as the network card is setup to support the cable modem, you simply plug it to the router & reboot. You're on the web... It's that simple... [this saves you from having to make confusing & messy network configuration changes in each of your computers]

The other things that you will need are:

  • An Ethernet network card for your computer. (Any Ethernet network card will do. You should however consider choosing a good network card from a good company; such as one from D-Link, LINKSYS, or 3COM. The "LINKSYS EtherFast 10/100 LAN Card" [Model # LNE100TX] should fit your computer needs. You can find more info about this product at "http://www.linksys.com/Products/product.asp?grid=26&prid=31".
  • You will also need some length of 'Ethernet (Category 5) cable'. You will need it long enough to go from the cable modem router to your computer. You may also need a second shorter cable for connecting the cable modem router to your already setup computer (check the network card's box to see if they provide you a short 3' or 6' cable. (if not, you should consider buying one).

The sales person in the computer store can help you find and get these things.

The cable modem router will run you anywhere from $90 to $125.
The Ethernet network card will run you anywhere from $10 to $75, depending upon the company name, make/model, & it's features. Most the Ethernet network cards I purchase run between $19 & $35 each. (I really do not have a favorite here, as they all work well & I purchase different ones for specific purposes). D-Link cards are generally the cheapest, LINKSYS are next expensive & 3COM is generally the most expensive.

I make pretty all my computing hardware purchases at Microcenter. There address is below.

Microcenter
655 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 10 to 9; Sat. 9 to 9; Sun. 10 to 6
General Information: (516) 683-6760
Business Services: (516) 683-6760

From within Westbury:
Exit Northern State Parkway - Exit 31A - South. Go to Meadowbrook Parkway. Take Meadowbrook Parkway to Exit M1 - Old Country Road. Turn left onto Old Country Road. Proceed on Old Country Road to Merrick Avenue. Turn right (South) onto Merrick Avenue. Micro Center is on the right hand side of Merrick Avenue.

From LaGuardia Airport:
Take Grand Central Parkway (East), which becomes the Northern State Parkway. Exit Northern State Parkway - Exit 31A - South. (You can also travel east on the Long Island Expressway; exit south to Meadowbrook Parkway.) Take Meadowbrook Parkway to Exit M1 - Old Country Road. Turn left onto Old Country Road. Proceed on Old Country Road to Merrick Avenue. Turn right (South) onto Merrick Avenue. Micro Center is on the right hand side of Merrick Avenue.

From Islip/MacArthur Airport:
Exit airport, go straight to the second light at Rt. 27 and make a right. Remain in the right land for approximately eight miles to the Southern Parkway, west. Take Southern Parkway to Meadowbrook Parkway. Exit north at M1 exit - Old Country Road. Proceed on Old Country Road to Merrick Avenue. Turn right (South) onto Merrick Avenue. Micro Center is on the right hand side of Merrick Avenue.

Once you have the above products, here is what you do.

  • shut off the pre-connected computer & cable modem. (you may need to unplug the cable modem to turn it off)
  • unpack the cable modem router & place it near the cable modem. (don't plug it in yet; as there is no off switch on this unit)
  • unplug the network card's cable from the back of the setup computer and plug it into the WAN port on the back of the cable modem router
  • plug in the other short cable you have (the 3' or 6' cable) into any one of the 4 LAN ports on the back of the cable modem router
  • plug the other end of the cable into that computer's network card.

(if you plug in everything and turn it all on, the computer should be on the web without any required changes.)
Now is where it may get a little crazy, but take it slow and you will get through it. :-)

  • install the network card into your other computer (follow the network card's directions. This generally involved inserting the network card into the computer, turning the computer on and entering the drive disk when windows ask you for it)
  • as long as your computer is off, plug in the long cable to the back of the network card
  • plug in the other end to any of the open LAN ports on the back of the cable modem.
  • turn everything on (the computer your working on, the cable modem router & the cable modem) & when your computer finishes booting, you should be on the web... :-)
  • if you are not on the web by this time, have your kids update your computer's network setting, like they did for their computer to use the cable modem. (the network settings for using the cable modem directly or connecting to the cable modem router are exactly the same...)

If you have problems, double check that you did everything as noted above. If you are still can't get it working, you can email me & I may be of assistance to help diagnose the problem.

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