September 13, 2002, 12:00 AM — 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.