- Fast connections are worth sharing
- Routing is the core of your shared network
- Dedicated devices - the alternatives
- What are the individual functions that make up the device?
- Buying a modem/router/switch
- Buying a device with an Ethernet switch
- Buying a device with wireless networking
- What about security?
- DIY vs ISP?
- Summary of features
- USB or Ethernet?
If you have multiple computers around the home or office and want to network them together to share an ADSL Internet connection then this guide is for you. In the pages to follow we investigate the main technology required to share broadband Internet - that is the ADSL Modem, router and/or switch - and how to connect it all together. By the end, you will know whether you need a modem, router, access point or all three rolled into one unit. There is also an exhaustive glossary of the terms that you will encounter while choosing the right hardware.
Fast connections are worth sharing
Before the popularisation of broadband, there was little demand for Internet connection sharing. Surfing the Web with a dial-up modem is slow enough when you're not sharing it, let alone when you have two or three computers using it at the same time. Because broadband is much faster, sharing the connection amongst a few computers is not just feasible, it's recommended. Consequently, a wide range of routers and combination devices have hit the market making it not only possible, but also easy, to set up broadband connection sharing. Once your connection is shared, all your computers will be able to use the Web, e-mail, instant messaging and any other Internet application you can think of - anytime and all the time.