Why Share Your Internet Connection via a Network? - dummies

Why Share Your Internet Connection via a Network?

By Mark L. Chambers

The network you installed allows for all sorts of data communications between PCs, including the ability to plug in to a shared Internet connection. It is indeed technically possible to share a dialup Internet connection by using the software connection-sharing feature in Windows 8. However, you won’t be satisfied with the results.

(Sorry — it doesn’t provide enough horsepower to handle more than one computer, and even then browsing the web is as slow as molasses.) Therefore, your best results are from using a digital subscriber line (DSL), a cable modem Internet connection, or a satellite connection.

Here’s a list of benefits that help explain why Internet connection sharing — whether through the software built into Windows 8 or a dedicated hardware device — is so doggone popular these days:

  • Cost effective: As long as your Internet service provider (ISP) allows you to share your broadband connection, you save a bundle over the cost of adding completely separate connections for multiple machines in your home or office. (Naturally, this is the major benefit.)

  • Convenient: With a shared Internet connection, other PCs on your network are easy to configure, and each one is as content as a sleeping cat. Each PC on your network operates just as though it were directly connected to the Internet, and the computers on the network can all do their own thing on the Internet simultaneously.

  • Centralized security: With a firewall in place — either running on the PC (if you’re sharing through software) or on the device itself (if you’re sharing through hardware) — you can protect the Internet activity on all the PCs on your network at one time.

  • Efficient: Most folks are surprised that a shared Internet connection is so fast — even when multiple computers on the network are charging down the information superhighway at the same time.

    A connection shared through a dedicated hardware device (like an Internet router) is always faster than a connection shared through software.

Speaking of convenience and efficiency, many hardware sharing devices also double as Ethernet switches (devices offering several wired Ethernet ports that are used to build a home or office Ethernet network). Hardware sharing devices allow you to build your entire home or office network around one central piece of hardware rather than use a separate switch and a PC running a software sharing program.