Every version of Microsoft Windows since
Windows98SE has included the Internet connection sharing (ICS) feature,
which will set up your internet-connected PC as a gateway, and configure the
other computers in the network to use it.
Advantages of this method are that it is
essentially free, and a relatively painless procedure (in 2000 and XP anyhow,
98/ME setup requires a bit of sweat and tears). The major downside of ICS is
that the computer designated as a gateway must be on whenever Internet access is
If that computer is off, you've got no
There are a couple of other
methods of Internet sharing which we will cover very briefly. If you are lucky
enough to have a DSL provider who allows you more than one IP address for your
account (Bell Sympatico service for example), you can set up a work-around using
only a hub to connect to your DSL modem (with crossover network cable), and your
PCs (with regular straight through network cable).