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How to Connect Two or More PCs to a Cable Internet Modem

by Scott Knickelbine
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

You can share a cable modem among several computers in multiple ways. In many cases, three or four PCs can be connected directly to the modem via Ethernet cables. Many more computers can be connected via an Ethernet router. For greater flexibility, the modem can be linked to a wireless router, which communicate to PCs equipped with Wi-Fi cards. Which method you use depends on how much you'd like to invest and how far from the modem your PCs are located.

Direct Ethernet Connection

Step 1

Insert a Ethernet cable plug into one of the Ethernet ports on the back of the cable modem.

Step 2

Insert the other end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the back of the computer.

Step 3

Create a network connection on the computer by navigating to the "Start" menu, then selecting "My Network Places," "Add a network place," and completing the "Add a Network Place" Wizard.

Repeat the procedure for each computer that you'd like to connect to the cable modem.

Router Connection

Step 1

Run an Ethernet cable from an Ethernet output port on the cable modem to the input port on the router.

Step 2

Run an Ethernet cable from one of the output ports on the Router to a PC you want to connect.

Establish a network connection on the PC by navigating to the "Start" menu, then selecting "My Network Places," "Add a network place," and completing the "Add a Network Place" Wizard. The wizard will detect the Ethernet connection and automatically configure with your router.

Wireless Router Connection

Step 1

Run an Ethernet connection from the output port on the cable mode to the input port on the wireless router.

Step 2

Configure the wireless router according to the manufacturer's directions. This usually involves connecting a computer directly to the router with an Ethernet cable, accessing the router's IP address with a Web browser, and changing the options on the router to work with the modem.

Step 3

Turn on the Wi-Fi antenna on each PC. If you have a PC with a Wi-Fi adapter, this switch is often located on the adapter, or the antenna is turned on simply by inserting the adapter in an expansion slot. If you have a laptop with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, the switch is normally located at the front or sides of the laptop.

Establish a wireless connection between the PC and the router by navigating to the "Start" menu, then selecting "Connect To," "Add a network place," then "Wireless Network Connection." The computer will then detect the router. Click on the name of the router and enter the password that you set up when you configured the router. The computer will then establish the connection with the router.

Tip

  • Many cable modems are equipped with integral wireless routers; this allows you to share the connection with multiple computers without the purchase of additional hardware.

Warnings

  • These are the general guidelines for sharing a cable modem. However, the procedure may differ for certain models of modem or routers. Always follow the installation and configuration instructions for your specific equipment.
  • While it is possible to set up a wireless modem with no password or security key, this allows others within the broadcast range of the modem to access your Internet bandwidth.

Items you will need

  • Ethernet cables, 1 per computer
  • Ethernet router (optional)
  • Wireless router (optional)

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