Configuring the Network in Windows XP Continued
- Internet Connection Sharing
The Default gateway and Preferred DNS server entries are used to tell your computer what computer on the network to use for access to the Internet and other network segments. So with this being the case, in the screenshot above I've told the client PC to look at the server to access the Internet, the server having an IP address of 192.168.0.1. You need to do this for every computer on the network. This is just an example of how advanced and clever Windows XP's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) really is as I mentioned earlier on in this guide. There are other third party programs such as Win Route that handle ICS instead of Windows, but in the case of Windows XP there is no point in having extra programs running chewing up valuable system resources. Fair enough, if your using Windows 95 or 98 ICS isn't as easy to setup compared to Windows XP nor does it have as good a features, so the use of third party programs is justified in this situation.
Now once all the IP addresses have been correctly assigned, click OK. This will bring us back to the original screen we started at. For what we are aiming at doing, no other options have to be tinkered with at this stage. Just as a note, you'll notice under the Advanced tab there is an option to enable Internet Connection Firewall, make sure this is not enabled for any of the computers on the network - If it is, you'll struggle to share files across the network.
Now click OK at the main screen, which will apply the new IP address settings - Since Windows XP is clever and advanced, there is no need in rebooting your PC for the settings to take place. If your server is already connected to the Internet with IP addresses all set correctly and ICQ enabled you should have a connection to the Internet already, yeah it's that simple!
Open up your browser and type in http://www.tweaktown.com to give it a test...;) If it doesn't work, never fear, we aren't finished just yet. Read the next few paragraphs for fixes.
- Printer Sharing
Now we've setup ICS, it's time to share your printer. If you haven't already, install your printer on your server. Once this is done, click Start -> Settings -> Printers and Faxes. Locate your printer and right click on it and click Sharing and you'll be brought to a screen like the one below...
Simply click "Share this printer" and type in what you'd like it to be known as across the network. Click OK and you're done!
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