Windows 2000: tuning the new OS

In Windows 2000, you set up connections to local area networks and the biggest network of them all - the Internet - using the same setting in the Control Panel. Network and Dial-up Connections steps you through the basics - but once you're connected, the fun really begins . . .

As in Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 can connect all the computers on a home or small-office network to the Internet using a single network connection. To arrange this cooperation, you have to set up a shared connection - and the procedure is pretty straightforward. On the computer that connects to the Internet, select Start-Settings-Network-Dial-up Connections. Right-click the listed connection that you want to share, and click Properties. Select the Sharing tab, and then click a check mark into the Enable Internet connection sharing for this connection box. Want another computer to dial up if the connection's not active? Just click a check mark into the Enable on-demand dialling check box.

To use the shared connection, rerun the Internet Connection Wizard on the networked computers and choose Connect through LAN.

Caveat: in setting up shared network access, Windows 2000 assigns IP addresses to the computer with the Internet connection - so this procedure is not recommended if the computers on your network have a static IP address assigned by an ISP. Also, don't try this if your network uses Windows 2000 Server or Windows NT domain controllers, DNS servers, gateways, or DHCP servers.

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