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In the network preferences I have it set up to automatically configure DHCP. When only one computer is on, it works fine... it uses 192.168.1.2 for the ip address, with the router address at 192.168.1.1, and 255.255.255.252 for the subnet mask. But when I try to use the second computer it uses 169.254.x.x for its ip address, and won't work. In the network status part of its DSL connection it says, "DSL is currently active. DSL has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the Internet."
When I try to manually change the IP to the same as the working computer it says that address is already in use. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you have a router, you aren't using it right.
DSL - > ROUTER -> COMPUTER 1 / 2 / 3 etc.
DSL assigns DHCP address of ROUTER, not the computers
ROUTER assigns DHCP addresses of COMPUTERS, and it's an internal only address, not the address of the DSL IP.
The router manages the magic of translating internal network requests from internal IPs to external network requests with external IPs. Trust me on this, we have 5 computers at home on a router using a single inbound IP # from our broadband provider.
BTW, how did you have more than one computer on your old DIAL-UP line? were you using a proxy server on one of the computers and your browsers and email all connected thru one PC? If so, you will need to disable the proxy server and all the connections to it from the other computers so they talk to the router.
Although I have rigged a shared dial-up connection before, that's not what we have been doing up to this point. We have one telephone line and three computers, one person got to use the connection at a time... good luck calling us ever.
My dsl modem has a single ethernet port, so I had to get a hub/switch to allow us all to connect at once. I figured the ip address would be assigned to the dsl modem or switch. I think the 192.168.x.x IP address is just a generic lan address (similar to localhost, but for a network).
What you said about the IP assignment makes sense, and was what I figured.. but for whatever reason it's just not working.
Your subnet mask will only allow for one machine.
192.168.1.0 - network address
192.168.1.1 - Ethernet address of your DSL router
192.168.1.2 - ONE machine
192.168.1.3 - broadcast address
DHCP can only assign 192.168.1.2 using a /30 subnet (255.255.255.252)
There are many "cable/DSL" routers available to allow you to use 1 IP address facing your DSL "modem" and up to a whole class C block on your inside network. The router should have NAT (Network Address Translation) turned on. I have 4 machines at home sharing 1 IP address on my cable modem.
Netgear and LinkSys make affordable Firewall/Routers. See NetGear FVS318C or FR114P, and LinkSys BEFSX41.
These models are just the ones I've recently seen in the local stores, so they should be easy to find. I'm sure others will have their favorites, but I intend these as examples of units that will do what you need them to do, and also keep intruders out.
I ended up with a Netgear router and it works like a charm.
I'm guessing the reason my switch worked before with a dial-up connection was because one of the computers was acting as a proxy.
I had been avoiding spending the money on a hardware firewall, so I'm glad I was forced to get a router with one built in.