Cable modem: where is yours?

I’ve finally bit the bullet and signed up for cable-based internet access. My plan is to wire several rooms in my house with data jacks so that I can share this connection with more than one computer. Wiring-wise, I don’t think that this will be difficult. I plan on using the main cable line to feed the modem, which will then be connected to a four port router. From the router, I would then branch out to wall jacks located in my living room and our three bedrooms.

This sounds like a good arrangement to me, but is it a bad idea to have the modem and router set up like that? I guess I’m thinking of how things are wired up at my office–a central wiring room where a few lines feed in and then branch out to other areas of the building. (I did consider going wireless, but the extra cost and the potential of others “borrowing” my bandwidth made me a bit hesitant.)

So the question goes out: How are you set up to share your cable modem?

Most cable internet providers will only provide you with one IP, so you’ll need to get a router capable of building a NAT gateway, like this one, which will also act as a DHCP server. Then simply run your cat-5 cables to each room and set up each computer for DHCP.

yep, sounds fine, guy.

Thats pretty much how I do it, and I am a network admin. I assume you mean the SOHO router/switch combos from dlink, linksys, etc. One thing I would recommend is, depending how many people you live with, 4 ports may not be enough. Keep in mind, not just your computers will need a connection. I have a ps2 that can be networked, Tivos and X-Boxen can be, you may want to add a laptop later, etc. I am sure in the future everything will need a net connection. Heck, I am single and have a 12 port switch, and as I look, 5 ports are currently active (but then again I am a geek). Get extra ports, really, like 2x more.

Also, make sure you get firewall capabilities. Most units from linksys, dlink and the like do that, so it shouldn’t be a problem. And as friedo said, DHCP and DNS, but most all have that these days.

Etherman: My wife and I are the only ones that live here, so I can only foresee having two PCs being hooked up at a time. Well, possibly three if I get a laptop sometime soon.

Freido: the D-Link DI-604 router should be able to do everything you mentioned. ($29.99 after rebate at TigerDirect right now. Is this a good deal?)

Hope my modem and router shows up in the next cuple of days. I’d like to get everything situated before the cable guy gets here next Wednesday…

Etherman: My wife and I are the only ones that live here, so I can only foresee having two PCs being hooked up at a time. Well, possibly three if I get a laptop sometime soon.

Freido: the D-Link DI-604 router should be able to do everything you mentioned. ($29.99 after rebate at TigerDirect right now. Is this a good deal?)

Hope my modem and router show up in the next couple of days. I’d like to get everything situated before the cable guy gets here next Wednesday…

Damn, sorry for the double post. Can’t wait to kiss this dial-up line goodbye…

The linksys looks great for you then Guy, I can’t believe they are that cheap now. One thing to watch out for though is the cable installers will not touch a network, at least around here. So they will only hook up a single machine. When you first hook up, they register you by MAC address, and that prevents you from changing devices easily later on. At the bottom of that page friedo linked, is a link called MAC Address Registration help PDF. Go print that out, it will save you a lot of grief, it is the directions to change the MAC address of the router.

My cable modem is right next to my bed, on the floor, just below my pillow. I would sleep with it cuddled against me, but the black plastic case is rather cold and hard. The cable runs out from the wall under my bed. I can almost reach and turn on my PC without even having to get up.

Mmm… internet.

Etherman: Thanks for the tip. I just finished printing out that PDF file. I’m sure that this will come in handy. I must have overlooked the link in freido’s message entirely. Guess I should have looked a little closer.

I’ve just hooked up my two computers to a Linksys Wireless Access Point Router (Model No. BEFW11S4 ver 2), which has a 4 port switch. The cable modem and router both are sitting on my desktop computer desk The desktop is running on regular wiring on one of the ports, while I have my laptop running with the wireless option on one of the other remaining unassigned ports. To have the laptop wireless, I installed a Linksys Wireless PC card. This way, I can go outside or anywhere in the house and still be online with the laptop, while another family member can use the desktop.

And a ditto on the MAC address information mentioned above. This was the only stumbling block while installing.

Initially, I planned to use the router as a hardware firewall (in addition to my software firewall), but the convenience of wireless has really made a difference in how and when family members use the cable access.

So far, my speeds are such that I do not notice any degradation using the desktop and laptop at the same time when compared to using only one at a time. (But I’ve not tried to time huge downloads so far)

I would personally recommend that you get a router with the capability to go wireless.


Sounds fine to me. In fact, I’m posting this from a third floor room at the remote end of a 100 ft cat-5 cable which runs to a router wired to the cable modem in the living room. No significant signal loss or slowdowns with more than one machine running simultaneously. The router’s a NetGear. No complaints.


Sunstone: Don’t you still run a chance of somebody hitching a ride on your wireless router and getting free access at your expense? In my neighborhood I think that it would be unlikely o happen (for now), but how about your neighborhood? I know it’s a lot of bandwidth, but there are limits.

Fatwater Fewl: Sounds great! Fortunately, for me, I only have to run wire from my basement to the second to the grond floor of our ranch house. The floor boards and joists are exposed in the areas I will wire, and the longest cable run will only be about 35’. I’ll get it done in no time!

Here in Indiana, it’s called the 'grond" floor, not “ground” floor.

I must have a talk with the company that trained my helper monkey. It can’t spell worth a damn.

I just installed a wireless DLink router yesterday. We have a cable modem, two laptops, a desktop, and a 100 year old house that is not particularly easy to run wiring through. The damn thing is GREAT. I can take my laptop from the upstairs (where our offices and the cable connection is installed) all the way to the basement and it works great!

You can set up security settings so that anyone who wants a free ride needs to know an encryption key to get into your network. I’m certain that someone who really, really wanted in could probably do it, but I’m not particularly worried about that.

The whole thing was easy enough. Anyone with half a brain could set one of these up. I guess the drawback to wireless is that internal communications between computers isn’t as fast as it would be with a wire, but 99% of the time we’re just sharing an internet connection. Being able to take a laptop anywhere in the house is great as well.

My setup:

Phone and Cable TV lines go to the garage. Cable modem/DSL modem in the garage (I’ve had both at different times.) Phone, Cat5 and RG-6U (or whatever Cable TV cable is) strung to all important rooms from the garage (some phone lines are cat 5, some are ‘legacy’ crap wires)

Phone line goes into a “splitter” thingie, DSL output goes into the modem, phone output goes into a phone-line patch panel. 10-base-T from the DSL modem goes into a hub in the garage, hub distributes network to all wired rooms.

I have local firewalls in each room, soon I’ll have a global firewall in the garage.

That’s it…

Having experience on the cable provider side, I can make the following recommendations: First, if this is a new install make sure they run the coax line to where you want it. If you’re paying for wiring, make sure it’s done how you want it. These guys are paid by the install, not the hour and they will do the absolute minimum.
Otherwise, the cable co’s responsibility ends at the modem. Someone mentioned MAC registering, and from what I read it’s exactly right. Also, you may not even get a permanent IP address. Ask specifically, if this is important to you. Use some sort of router that gives you NAT capability; it’ll give you a small measure of security and allow you more freedom to do your own thing internal-network wise. We had folks with full blown firewalls etc… installed at the end of the modem and we frankly didn’t care, as long as we could monitor our gear (modems) and didn’t have bandwidth issues.
Do your own wiring if you feel up to it, but if you ask the guy from the cable company you’ll pay out the wazoo. Unless he’s willing to come by later and do it on the side. Which a lot of guys will do for cheaper.

FTR, I have the DI-604p, and it works a treat.