Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

How can I share my cable modem Internet connection through my wireless router?

I have a Fujitsu laptop, a wireless Wi-Fi 802.11g card and a 3com Wi-Fi 802.11g router. I have a desktop that is connected to a cable modem. What is it exactly that I have to do to connect both the laptop and the desktop to the cable modem but have wireless connection for the laptop? Can you please walk me through the process?
Assuming you really do have a wireless router, not just an AP, your best bet is to share the cable modem Internet connection through your wireless router.

  1. Connect the "WAN port" of your wireless router to the cable modem. Typically the router must be configured to get its IP address using DHCP, but this depends upon your cable provider. If you have trouble with this part, ask your cable company how to connect a broadband router to your cable modem.

  2. Connect the Wi-Fi card in your Fujitsu laptop to your wireless router using 802.11g. Follow instructions that came with your card and router -- typically you need to configure the same SSID (network name) and WEP keys in both the card and the router. When configuring WEP keys, watch out for differences between hex and ASCII. (Some products require keys to be entered in hex, others in ASCII, so be sure you follow instructions supplied with your card and router.) Try to connect the card without WEP enabled, then add WEP when the connection is working.

  3. Connect the desktop to the your wireless router. Most wireless routers have built-in 4-port Ethernet hubs which let you connect an Ethernet card in your desktop directly to the router. If your wireless router does not have any LAN Ethernet ports, or your desktop doesn't have an Ethernet card, then you'll need a Wi-Fi adapter for your desktop. Most people find it more convenient to use USB Wi-Fi adapters in desktops, Wi-Fi PCI cards are also an option.

  4. Most wireless routers default to give out LAN IP addresses with DHCP, so configure both the laptop and desktop to get IP addresses automatically from the router. Most wireless routers also default to using network address translation (NAT) to share one Internet connection across many WLAN stations, so you probably won't have to configure anything else in the router to make this all work.
This was last published in September 2003

Dig Deeper on Network Infrastructure