Internet Connection Sharing
When Microsoft release Windows 98 Second Edition, it included all patches that had been released since Windows 98 was first released, and there were quite a few! Some of these patches included Year 2000 patches, Internet Explorer version 5.0, NetMeeting 3.0, Media Player 6.2, DirectX 6.1, and improved native support for new technologies such as the Universal Serial Bus (USB), IEEE 1394 (FireWire), ACPI, WebTV, Virtual Private Networking (VPN) services, and the inclusion of standardized Windows fonts for the Euro currency symbol. This release also included support for Device Bay and Windows Driver Model (WDM) modems and well as built-in cable-modem and DSL support.
While much of the above is really not all that new, one significant feature developed and included by Microsoft in their Windows 98 Second Edition release is Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). By the way, it's included in Windows 2000 too!
With ICS you can share a single Internet Connection across your home, home office or small office network, making it easier to connect to the Internet from each of your Networked computers. While there are several similar third party products available, all of which let you do the same thing, ICS is already built in to the Operating System itself. Some make the statement that the advantages are with the third party products over Microsoft's offering because they are allegedly more user friendly. We have tested all of them, and for the advantages seen in one, it has disadvantages as well. Most of the problems we have seen with some of these third party applications, especially for the first time user, is support. Shareware and freeware are nice when you are somewhat of a guru in your own right, but if you're not and just need to get the connection up and running, you might consider Microsoft's ICS features.
Although Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing installation files come with very little information and virtually no in-hand documentation, there is quite a bit of information to be found in Windows Help as well as the Microsoft Knowledge Base. In addition, you may want to make a small investment and purchase the Windows 98 Resource Kit, which has quite a bit of information regarding ICS.
In these pages, we will walk you through "How to Install Internet Connection Sharing", "How to Operate and Use ICS" and most importantly, "How to Troubleshoot ICS". We have also include URL's for most of the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base that relate to Internet Connection Sharing, which are current through May 31, 2000.
Let's move on to How to Install Internet Connection Sharing shall we!
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