Getting in the Fast Lane

Here's how to set up a broadband connection for your home or office LAN.
Setting up the Clients

The hard part is now over, and it's time to set up the client machines which will be using IP masquerading to gain access to the Internet. In most major operating systems, the values for netmask, IP address, gateway and DNS server are required to effectively use the Internet. Also, routes must be specified in UNIX machines. Routing setup in Win95 is more transparent, although there is a route command.

On a Win95 or Macintosh machine, the first step is to install the network hardware which is probably an Ethernet card. These platforms are well supported, and the hardware should come with full documentation and software for installation. Read the operating system documentation on how to set network settings. Once you know how to set up the network, use 192.168.1.x for the IP address, where x is less than 255 but greater than 1. Don't assign identical network addresses to two computers on the same network. For the Gateway address, use 192.168.1.1 which will correspond to your server machine if you've followed my examples. For the DNS server search order, or DNS servers, enter the same DNS servers used for the server machine. Or, if you have a DNS server running on the server machine, you can specify it as the DNS machine. Don't enable any funky WINS settings; set the interface to be the default. In Win95, this can be found under the “Advanced” tab. In other operating systems, you should be able to specify it with a command such as route. On Macintosh systems, you shouldn't have to worry about this, unless you have multiple Ethernet cards, which isn't likely. Also, on Macintosh systems, the Gateway address may be referred to as the “Router Address”. Treat this the same as the “Gateway address” term.

Your operating system may be different in setup, but the values you use are the same universally. Read your operating system documentation for more information on how to set these values.

Wrapping Up

Now is the time to test your setup, if you haven't already. Make sure your server machine is running, and all software is configured properly. Then, turn on a client machine and type ping 192.168.1.1 at the command prompt or in the Run window in Win95. You should get a bunch of numbers every second or so. This means that the network is alive and kicking. Press CTRL-C to stop the ping command from pinging. Next, open up a piece of client software such as an FTP program or a web browser and bring up your favorite WWW site. If the site appears, your setup is working fine. If not, then you should go over the settings and try again. Remember, it may take a bit longer for the web site to appear through IP Masquerading than through a regular connection.

If you would like to discuss any of this with me, please feel free to e-mail me.

Credits and Resources

Mike Hughes is a high school student living in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys using Linux, snowboarding and traveling. His web site, detailing the slow cable modem service provided by GTE, can be found at www.psilord.com/. He can be reached via e-mail at wxh@gte.net.

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