I’m a Mac user who has just purchased a Windows laptop, and I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to get both of them online at the same time.
The Mac: iMac running Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Lion)
The PC: Toshiba laptop running Windows 7
The Internet Connection: Charter Cable Internet
Between the cable modem and the two computers is a 5-slot ethernet hub.
Before I go any further, I want to mention that I have networked a Mac and a Windows PC into the same Internet connection several times in the past, with the computers in question running varying flavors of the Mac OS (ranging from Mac OS 8 to the current Lion) and Windows (98, XP, and 7). And I’ve never had any difficulty with it:
• Connect incoming ethernet cable to hub
• Connect both computers to hub
• Boot both machines
• Connect to Internet with both machines.
I’ve done this via ISDN, DSL, and my local PUD’s fiber optic Internet system. However, this is the first time I’ve tried it with Charter Cable Internet.
I didn’t pick up a second ethernet cable until a couple hours ago, so in order to connect the laptop I had to disconnect my iMac from the cable modem, connect the laptop to the modem, power down the modem (by unplugging it), wait 10 seconds, power the modem back up, and then boot the laptop. Then repeat that process to switch back to the iMac. Pain in the neck.
But now I have the second ethernet cable, and have both machines connected to the ethernet hub. But for unknown reasons, I cannot get both machines to connect to the Internet at the same time. It seems to be a matter of whichever machine boots up first gets the connection, and the other one is out of luck. I’ve gone through multiple reboots of both machines, rebooting the modem, “rebooting” the ethernet hub, booting the computers in different orders, booting them simultaneously, etc, etc.
It’s kind of looking to me like that cable modem doesn’t know what to do with two computers connected to it. Am I going to need a router, rather than an ethernet hub? All of my prior Internet connections (the ISDN, DSL, and fiber optic) involved a router of one kind or another. In the case of the ISDN and the DSL, I wasn’t in charge of the LAN - I just had an ethernet cable into my space and I plugged that ethernet cable into my computer, or into a hub if I was connecting more than one. With the fiber optic connection, it was basically the fiber running into the house and then into a router, and then my computer (and those of my roomates) were connected directly into the router. When I wanted to connect a second computer in my own room, I just added a hub, which worked fine.
So if a router is what I need here, that’s no problem. I just don’t want to buy a router if it won’t solve my problem.