Selecting your Internet connection method

When you run the Network Setup Wizard, you are given the following five choices for connecting your home or small office network to the Internet:

This computer connects directly to the Internet. The other computers on my network connect to the Internet through this computer.

This network configuration uses Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) to share this computer's Internet connection with the rest of the computers on your network. As this illustration shows, this computer is connected to the Internet. Communication to and from the Internet to all the computers on your network are sent through this computer, called the host computer. For more information about using ICS with different network configurations, see To connect your computers together 

This computer connects to the Internet through another computer on my network or through a residential gateway.

This computer is part of a home or small office network that connects to the Internet through another computer on the network or using a residential gateway. If you have another computer on your network that shares its Internet connection, called the ICS host computer, this computer can send and receive e-mail and access the Web as if it were connected directly to the Internet. This illustration shows this computer connected to the Internet through another computer on your network.

A residential gateway is a hardware device that works similarly to a host computer. Typically, a DSL or cable modem is connected to the residential gateway which is connected to an Ethernet hub, as this illustration shows. Internet communication is directed through the residential gateway to all of the computers on your network.

This computer connects to the Internet directly or through a network hub. Other computers on my network also connect to the Internet directly or through a hub.

This network configuration typically has an external DSL or cable modem connected to an Ethernet network hub. The other computers on your network are also connected to the network hub. Each computer on the network has a direct connection to the Internet by means of the network hub and DSL or cable modem as shown in this illustration For more information about using this network configuration, see Individual Internet connections in Network configurations overview 

If you are using this configuration for your home or small office network, it is recommended that you disable file and print sharing on the TCP/IP protocol and enable it on the IPX/SPX protocol. If you share files and folders on your computers using the TCP/IP protocol, they could be seen on the Internet. Only enable IPX/SPX for file and printer sharing if you are using this network configuration for your home or small office.

This is not a recommended network configuration. It exposes all computers on the network directly to the Internet, creating potential security problems. It is recommended that there be a secure host device, such as a computer running Windows XP with ICS and Internet Connection Firewall enabled, or using a residential gateway.

This computer connects directly to the Internet. I do not have a network yet.

Select this option if you only have one computer and it has an Internet connection as shown in this illustration The Network Setup Wizard configures this computer to use Internet Connection Firewall to protect your computer from intrusions from the Internet.

This computer belongs to a network that does not have an Internet connection.

Select this option if you have two or more computers networked together, but don't have an Internet connection as shown in this illustration of an Ethernet network. You can also have a home or small office network using the same configuration using a home phoneline network adapter (HPNA) or wireless adapters. If you have different network adapter types, such as Ethernet, HPNA, or wireless devices, installed in your Windows XP computer, the Network Setup Wizard can create a network bridge to allow all of the computers in your network to communicate.

Internet Connection Firewall overview

Network Bridge overview

Network configurations overview

Choosing your Internet Connection Sharing host computer

Network adapters overview

Enable file and print sharing on the IPX/SPX protocol

Enable IPX/SPX file and print sharing on Windows 2000

Enable IPX/SPX file and printer sharing on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition



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