Help with setting up a home LAN

As soon as I can figure out what to do we will be setting up a LAN in our home. We have a Compaq Presario (366mhz) and a brand new HP Pavilion xt919. I will have the cable man set up a cable modem on the HP, and once he is gone I would like to buy a Linksys Router and give the Compaq a cable connection too. So my questions are:

 1) Will I need to install any software on the Compaq to let it us the cable modem through the LAN? Or Windows automatically set up to run through the cable modem/router?

 2) I have a third computer, it is a Gateway 4DX2-50 and has had many upgrades (although I don't know how many. The processor runs at 100mhz (I clocked it anywhere from 94-121 mhz) and it has 32 megs ram. If I connected this to the LAN to use the cable modem, would it kick the whole network down to 10baseT rather than the 100baseTX that I would prefer it run at? Also, could the computer even handle high speed access? It is only used in rare instances, so would it be worth it to put it on the network knowing it wouldn't run as fast, because it is only on in rare instances?

Basically, what you’ll need to do is install the software for the modem on one computer (You may need to install it on the others, but I haven’t had to in the past). When you get the router, install the firmware and then the router will process all requests from your computers to the modem. Essentially, it’s as if only one thing is making a request. Your old computer shouldn’t affect the rest in terms of speed.

I’m running a dual platform (Mac OS and Win 95) through a Linksys BEFSR41 to a Speedstream DSL modem, but I did have it hooked up to a cable modem in the past.

Anyway, does that help?

The only software you should need are the netowrk card drivers, the TCP/IP protocol, and a browser. You can configure the router through your browser.

You plug the cable modem into the uplink port on the router, then you plug your PCs into the router.

If you use Roadrunner you will have to set the router to get its IP address from DHCP. If you have @home I think you specify an IP.

Don’t mess around with all that shit. Here’s the easy way. It’s all plug and play and took me five minutes to set up when I did mine.:

[li]Buy a Netgear 4-port hub and some data cables(one 4’ and the others as long as you need to reach the other computers)[/li]
[li]Plug the line from your router(output line) into the input port on your brand new hub.[/li]
[li]Run the data cables from the output ports of your hub to the 10/100 network cards of the other computers you want to incorporate.[/li][/link]

[li]Make sure all of your 10/100 ethernet cards(network cards) are enabled.[/li]
[li]Press the “UPLINK” button on the hub.[/li]
email me.

Ok, first let’s assume your DOCSIS cable modem has an Ethernet port (since every one I’ve ever seen does) and maybe a USB port. Most of them have crossover ports, meaning that you can use a standard patch cable to connect them directly to the 10BaseT or 100BaseTX Ethernet port on a network interface card(NIC).

Get the router, since without it you’ll need a computer running some kind of NAT software (included with Win2000, BTW) and two NICs or one NIC and USB if the modem supports USB (and that will require softwarethat should come with the modem). NOTE Some cable operators give up more than one IP address and you can just get a cheap hub to connect everything together and count yourself lucky. Most only give one IP address and you’ll need some kind of NAT router.

Follow the instructions that come with the router. If your cable ISP uses DHCP (most do), you’ll be up and running in minutes. If they use static addressing, the router instructions should cover that, too, although configuration is a bit more involved. The installer should be able to tell you which they use. If he can’t tell you, throw him out the door, call the cable company, and insist they send out an installer who can find his *ss with both hands.

Any computer that can handle an Ethernet connection and TCP/IP can take advantage of a cable modem. I have an Amiga 3000/25 (about equal to a 80486DX @ 25 MHz in hardware but with a much superior OS) and it blazes on my LAN connection. Its 10Base5/10Base2 Ethernet card is more than capable (with $29.95 transceiver, of course) of handling the throughput a cable modem can provide. Any upgraded 486 will be similarly capable.