Internet Connection Sharing in Windows 2000

We recently discussed how to set up ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) in

Windows 2000. Reader Tom D. has a question about this topic:

"I read your article about Internet Connection Sharing in Windows

2000 with great interest. I am about to replace one of my PCs with a

new one running Windows XP, probably Pro. I would like to use this

PC as my ICS gateway, connected to my DSL line. The other two PCs

that will share the Internet connection run Windows NT 4 Workstation

(SP6a) and Windows 98 SE. I understand how to configure the ICS

gateway PC. How should I configure the other two PCs for ICS? I

cannot upgrade the Windows NT machine as it belongs to my employer.

I use that machine with a Cisco VPN client to access my company's

WAN, via, what is today, a direct DSL Internet connection. I cannot

upgrade the Windows 98 machine, as it is not XP compatible.

Should I run a personal firewall, probably ZoneAlarm Pro, only on

the ICS gateway or an all three PCs? Would you recommend such a

software ICS configuration or a hardware broadband router/switch?"

To configure the other computers, all you have to do is set the LAN

workgroup name and choose 'Obtain an IP address automatically' in the

TCP/IP Properties dialog box. The computer with ICS activated will

assign the addresses to the other computers.

If you decide to use a firewall, you should use a copy on each of the

computers attached to the LAN.

As to whether you should use ICS or a hardware router, I would go for

the router. I use a router here and I am convinced that it offers more

security than ICS and more versatility as well. However, I should point

out that Windows XP Pro offers more security than the Windows 2000 ICS.

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