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  1.    #1  
    I'm trying to connect two computers that are about 50 feet apart to my DSL line.

    My DSL modem has USB out, Ethernet out, and Parallel out.

    Both computers already have Ethernet.

    Now, I went to CompUSA and asked how I can do this and the guy told me to connect my computer to USB and then connect the computers to each other with a crossover cable. The problems with this is that a) both computers are more that 10 feet apart (which is the largest X-over cable they had); and b) it only works with two computers.

    He also showed us a Cable/DSL sharing kit that came with a router and a hub, etc. but that costs $200.

    Onto my questions:
    1. What kind of software is required on both ends to use the X-over method?

    2. Are there crossover cables with lengths greater than 10 feet and does the signal quality degrade if I go higher than that?

    3. Any (cheaper) alternatives to the hub/router method?

    4. I've seen the router, but it has one port for the DSL to come in and another that goes to the computer. What does the router do exactly?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. #2  
    If you go with the USB and crossover method you need a copy of Win98SE on the computer the DSL comes into (the other computers could use any other OS). You would then use the Internet Sharing program in Windows. However, this is not the best method to share internet.

    There are crossover cables longer than 10'. Try another computer store, or if you can't find any you could buy a spool of Cat. 5 cable and make one yourself.

    A router is a device that will share internet over a network without the need of a dedicated computer. The DSL gets connected via ethernet on one side and out the other to your switch or hub. Then all your computers get connected to your switch/hub.

    Personally, I'd use the Router method. Though it's not the cheapest it is easier to set up and requires less maintenance. I use a Linksys BEFSR11 and a switch which I find works quite well (it costs about $100 for the linksys router, not sure about the switch). They also make a BEFSR41 model with the switch built in for about $150.

    One last thing, you can use either a switch or a hub, it is your choice. A switch is usually better (but more expensive) but for 2 computers a hub should work fine. With either a switch or a hub you would use straight-through cables instead of crossover cables.
    No handheld computers were harmed in the creation of this message.
  3. #3  
    I would go with only have heard good things about it.

    To get some info on the crossover method try and read

    Here are some long crossover cables:

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  4. #4  
    I have to agree about the Linksys router .. its Grrreat! Plug your DSL and two computers into it and your ready to go -- if you plan on adding additional comptuers, u can have up to 253 computers sharing the connection (I have set them up to share internet access with 30+ systems)

    The other method, while it would work does require one of the computers to be on while the other system needs to use the internet connection .. this can start to be a pain given the distance between the two computers..

    As far as the crossover cable is concerned, if you can't find one thats long enough, you can always buy the cross over, buy a regular CAT5 cable and use a coupler to connect the cables together..

    Another option: If you have multiple IP addresses for use with the DSL modem (you will have to check with your provider) you could simply buy a 10base-T 4 port hub ($20, and connect everything via ethernet. Then simply configure each computer to use its own IP address.

  5. #5  
    like compupika said, make your own cable...
    It's not that hard... I did it to connect to my neigbour who lived up two floors and the total distance was over 10 meters.
    We used a cable that was still on the spool (we were to lazy to unroll it ) and the total cable length was about 300 meter... It worked like a charm...

    We setup a proxyserver so if one of us would go on the net, the system would dail in automatically (ISDN) and we both could connect...

    Was pretty cool, till we both moved.... now I live in Sydney and he lives in Amsterdam. I dont think any UTP cable can be that long
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  6. #6  
    Not familiar with the LinkSys product, but you might want to consider a combination router, firewall and hub from the likes of WebRamp ( ), SonicWall ( ) or WatchGuard ( ). I use an older WatchGuard product (actually a BeadleNet SOHO 2000); and, other than some deficiencies in logging, it has been great. I've tried hacking my home network from the outside, and so far I've not been able to hack the SOHO 2000 (which you'd have to do to have any shot at getting to my home network). These are not inexpensive solutions; but they are close the plug-n-play, and are easy to maintain and update.

    A word of caution: if you are only going to get one IP from your ISP and if you want to host an Internet visible host (e.g. for gaming), then you'll want to get a product that support DMZ for the Internet visible server and a second static IP address.
  7. #7  
    Yucca -- the linksys is basically a combo router/firewall/switch for about $150.. It has a 4 port switch onboard (uplink to another hub/switch for more users), DHCP Server on the LAN, DHCP Client on the WAN (for plug & play in most situations), creates a firewall to protect from outside intruders, browser based control panel, DMZ host option, IPSec passthrough & it looks pretty cool. Granted, it doesn't have a lot of the management features associated with the higher end solutions, but for the home/small business that just wants to get internet to multiple computers, its a great, inexpensive solution.

  8. #8  
    The low price is attractive (the other units cost about $200 more), but the capabilities (and the level of protection) are less than those offered by the units that I mentioned (it only does packet filtering). The biggest problem that I can see with the LinkSys is that the administrative console is accessible from the Internet (I know the SOHO 2000's console is only accessible from the private network).

    LinkSys does maintain a useful support page -

    For a magazine review of low end firewalls, see -,6755,2583561,00.html
  9. #9  
    Don't Know if my DSL Modem is special or soemthing, but I figured out all I have to do is plug in the DSL Modem into a REGULAR 10/100 Hub, and plug the Computers into the Hub, and everything works. Dont' ask me how. I thought the tech guy was full of it when he told me this. I had previously tried to hook the Modem through my win98 box with two NICs, but couldn't get it to work.
  10. #10  
    Vertigo -- what type of DSL modem do you have? Either your setup has multiple IP addresses (the modem dishes them out as computers are hooked up -- I have used this setup on a cable modem before) or your DSL modem has a router built in (Which would be really cool..)

  11. #11  

    Either your ISP is using DHCP servers (the ISP gives a new IP address to each computer as it comes online) or you have a router such as the Cisco 675 and are using it as a psuedo firewall.

    Unless you configured the modem to act as a router, then you probably are just using a DHCP server.

    DHCP is cool, except that you don't have static IP addresses, so you can't run any servers from your side.

    For those of you with Cisco 675's, you'd be surprised with what you can do with those things. If you are ever given the choice of an internal PC modem (usually free) or paying for the cisco 675, get the Cisco...especially if you plan to run multiple machines/servers.

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