How Can I Share One Modem Between Two Macs?

1998 – G writes: I just got a cable modem to connect to the Internet. I was just wondering, I want to connect another Mac so I can share the modem with two computers. My family keeps fighting over the computer with the cable modem. None of us can stand dial-up anymore. Is there a solution?

I tried calling up my cable modem company, but no one can help me. They said, “Sorry, we only can help PCs.”

I have a Power Mac with¬† ethernet and one Performa without. What should I buy? After searching the Net, I’ve only been able to figure out that I might need some LocalTalk boxes.


Mac Daniel writes: First, if your cable company knows you have more than one computer connected, they may want to charge you more money. Second, most cable companies don’t know squat about the Macintosh.

There are several ways to share an Internet connection among several computers. The only ones I’ve worked with are SurfDoubler and Vicomsoft Internet Gateway (VIG). SurfDoubler is essentially a two-user version of VIG, which comes in several sizes (5 users, 10 users, etc.).

An alternative to SurfDoubler and VIG is IPNetRouter from Sustainable Softworks. According to users, it’s a bit more technical and a bit less user friendly than the Vicomsoft products, but it can also save you a lot of money if you have three or more Macs.

The Mac connected to the Internet acts as a gateway to the connected computer(s). Both VIG and Surf Doubler will let you do IP (Internet protocol) over LocalTalk, which can be a real plus if you don’t want to install ethernet on your Performa. On the down side, cable modems are fast and LocalTalk is slow – only about 8 times the speed of a 28.8 modem.

If the cable modem is connected to ethernet on the Power Mac, you’ll need an ethernet card in the Performa and a second ethernet port on the Power Mac before you can create an ethernet network. The cost of that might make LocalTalk downright attractive.

There are other options available, but they’re not programs I’ve used. You might want to get on one of the Mac-related email lists such as Quadlist or PowerMacs and ask others for their experiences.

Keywords: #internetsharing #modemsharing

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