Ethernet connections to DSL modem and printer

My home computer setup consists of an Apple G4 PowerMac connected to a HP LaserJet 2100TN printer.

I just upgraded to DSL (from SBC/Yahoo), and am connecting to the external DSL modem via my computer’s internal 10/100Base-T ethernet port. Unfortunately, I had to disconnect the printer (HP LaserJet 2100TN) from this port (which was using an AppleTalk connection).

How can I connect to my DSL modem and simultaneously connect to my printer?

SBC/Yahoo provided me an additional ethernet card (a D-Link DFE 530-TX+). Can I simply add a second ethernet card to a free PCI slot? (Can you have two cards installed?) Is this a good idea?

Is there a better solution? Do I need a router?


P.S. If it matters, I’m running MacOS X 10.2.3.

You don’t need a router* per se*, but it sounds like a network hub may be useful.

I don’t know anything about Macs, but with a PC, you can certainly have more than one NIC installed. I would hope a Mac could handle that, too. Assuming that it can, I wouldn’t bother with a hub or router if you’ve already got the second NIC available.

You might want to get a router/hub. The router part keeps your ISP from seeing more than one IP address and charging you extra for it.

Try the network card first. Quick question, can you connect the printer over a USB port?

What is the difference between the two?

Do ISPs actually do this? Would this be an issue for an attached printer?

I don’t believe so.

Thanks for the replies. I’m really pretty clueless regarding network connections.

Networking hasn’t been my specialty for some time so here’s the gist in layman’s terms.

A hub is just a multiport connetion that distributes and repeats the signals from everything conneted to it. You can’t just wire devices in parallel like with a phone cord. 10 base-T has distinct wire pairs for transmit and recieve. The connection on the hub or your cable modem are reversed from what your network card has so a straight cable will connect a transmit pair with a recieve pair and vice-versa.

I’m not familiar with the ethernet printer but I my guess is that it’s made to appear the same as an ethernet card in a comuter. If you’re not connecting it with a hub I suspect you have to use a special cable with the pairs reversed so you aren’t connecting the transmit pair to the transmit pair on each end. These cables are typically orange. If you connect through a hub or router you’d use standard straight cables. If this is not the case would someone please correct me.

A router is an additional device that may or may not be combined with a hub. The router isolates the devices on one side to a certain extent from the other side. When you connect your computer directly to your cable modem you will normally get an IP address from their DHCP server though you can sometimes use a fixed IP address. I use Cox in Phoenix and they charge extra for a fixed IP address or additional addresses beyond the first. A router gets around the additional address problem by appearing to the cable company as the only device connected to the cable modem. The router can assign its own IP addresses to your computer and handle the translation when y our computer talks to the outside world. Even if the cable company doesn’t charge you extra they will still have to make provsions for the extra IP addresses and repeater count of your hub. Since this consumes their resources I can’t imagine any ISP doing it free.

Using a second ethernet card is one way of making your computer act as the router. I know this is pretty straightforward to do with Unix but am not familiar with hot to set it up on other systems.

Nevermind, it is designed to be controlled over a network. So try the network card.

I have been connecting my printer to the ethernet port on my computer using an RJ-45 “crossover” cable.

I think I am going to go with the router rather than installing a second NIC. I think this will make my setup more hack-proof, allow me to attach a second computer to my internet connection in the future, as well as allow me to hook up the printer (right? :))

Also, the NIC provided by my ISP (a D-Link DFE 530-TX+) apparently only has a beta version of the driver for Mac OS X.

So anyway, if I go with the router, will I still use the “crossover” cable for the printer, or do I need to use a “patch” cable?

Can anyone suggest what type and/or model router I should be looking at?

Thanks again!

If you get a hub/router combination you will no longer need to use the crossover cable. The ports on the hub are already reversed from what the NIC is so no need for it. It should also have one special non-reversed port specifcally for conneting to the cable modem. I think the one on mine is labeled “uplink” I’ve got the basic D-link router/4 port hub and am quite satisfied with it. It has a browser based setup so there is nothing specific to mac or PC. It should be the quickest way to get u p and running.

If you plug things into a router/hub, patch cables will go from the router/hub to your computer and printer.

I think that the router is the right thing to use for all the reasons you say. Linksys and Netgear both work, just check prices, and make sure you get one with 4 ports so you don’t have to buy anything else.