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IP Address is a unique identifier that your Internet Service Provider
(ISP) uses to tell your computer apart from the millions of other computers on the Internet. This whole business of having to "share" your broadband connection is usually due to the fact that your ISP will only support one IP address.
A. Multiple IP Addresses
Some ISPs, however, will gladly sell you more than one IP address for your other computers a for a nice monthly fee.
B. Using a Proxy Server
A proxy server is a software application that takes the one IP address that you get from your ISP and routes the data to and from the other computers on your LAN though it.
C. Using Linux (or other UNIX variants)
Linux is an (essentially) free version of Unix that is available for both the Intel
and Motorola computing platforms. It can be configured in various ways to allow you to share your connection.
D. Using Microsoft NT If you are using NT Workstation or Server, and your ISP can route multiple IP addresses to you, you can use its built-in routing capabilities. Routing of multiple addresses (usually all or some of a Class C subnet) is not common for cable modem ISPs, and if they will do it, you'll be charged an extra fee. So you'll probably have to use one of the other sharing options.
E. Hardware routers/firewalls
Yes, you can actually go buy a dedicated box to handle sharing your network connection. This solution may be suitable more for business applications with many users. Prices, however, are coming within home user range, as "home networking" is recognized as a growing market.
There are two choices:
DSL & Cable Sharing
A. For external ethernet (RJ45) modems, you have two (2) choices . Get a cable/dsl router (recommended), OR use a sharing software. See Networking FAQ #2286.
B. For internal or USB modems, you can only use a sharing software (in most cases). See Networking FAQ #2270.