View Full Version : Internet Access For Both Mac & Pc Simultaneously

23rd May 2005, 02:06 PM
Hi everyone,

Forgive me if this has already been asked before...I did search but couldn't find any answers to my question.

My boyfriend and I are moving in together in a few weeks: I have a PowerMac G4 (1.25Mhz), 768MB RAM, 280gig, etc....and he has a Pentium 4 PC (not sure of specifics). Can we share an internet connection (preferably cable - if available in the house we choose) and can we both be online simultaneously? If so..what equipment do we need?

Thanks in advance!

Macmelly :)

23rd May 2005, 02:08 PM
Dial up modem for will you get ADSL/Cable ?

23rd May 2005, 02:15 PM
A router that allows you to plug your cable modem into will then enable it to share the link to both machines. It would then be just a matter of plugging in your mac and p4 via ethernet cable to the router switch ports.

Typically they have 4 ports for machines, and 1 port for ADSL or cable modem. And some even have wireless so machines with wireless network cards can share the link too.

The model you get will depend on the functions you get :)

23rd May 2005, 02:51 PM
Wired setup:
Cable modem -> Ethernet Router -> Ethernet to Mac & Ethernet to PC

Wireless setup:
Cable modem -> Wireless Router via Ethernet port -> Wireless Adpter to PC or Mac

You might want to go wireless for a few reasons.
- PC doesn't have ethernet port
- Don't like having cables attaching everything
- Boyfriend likes to buy stuff ;)

23rd May 2005, 03:42 PM
We had a satellite connection to the internet which we had to dial into. We used a Dell running XP to dial up and my iBook was ethernet connected to the Dell which meant we could both use the internet at the same time and access our separate mailboxes as well. Just needed to set the Windows machine to allow others to connect to the internet in its settings.


23rd May 2005, 04:24 PM
Thanks for your responses everyone....it's been really helpful.

Re: Wireless setup vs ethernet.... what sort of costs are we looking at? I would love to have wireless in the house, but not if it's going to cost a bomb!

Thanks again everyone!


23rd May 2005, 04:40 PM
$300 should cover complete wireless setup.

As an example, Apple Airport Express ($199) plus any of a few different adsl modems avail for under $100.

Ethernet could use same modem as you might with Airport Express, so the difference would really just be the wireless side of things, in this case, $199....

Edit - this assumes both computers are wireless capable already.

23rd May 2005, 04:48 PM
Definately go with a (cable/dsl)router of some sort. I have a WGR614 and it has 7 pcs/macs hanging off a cable connection without a problem. Especially if there is a Windoze box on the network. Routers save so much effort, particularly if you have a visitor coming round to leech/play games etc.

Make sure you get a router with wireless even if you aren' t going to use it right away. Just don't forget to turn it off!

9th August 2005, 08:42 AM
Hi again everyone,

My DSL Modem finally arrived (Dlink 302G) yesterday and I have my Powermac running on it perfectly. I have not yet invested in a router...thought I would ask for some recommendations first bearing in mind:

- 2 computers to connect
- Also wish to share a HP Photo printer (where does this plug in?)
- Do I need to change any settings on either machine?
- Does the router slow the speed at all (probably a dumb question....but I'm blonde!)

Thanks again for all your help.


9th August 2005, 08:56 AM
if you are looking for a cheap alternative... you could just network the two machines using CAT5 cable and use the Mac's inbuilt internet sharing. ;)


9th August 2005, 09:32 AM
the modem you got is a modem/router so all you really need is a network switch. A 5 port switch should cost you $40-70. This should do the trick.

printer is a tricky one. you could either buy a router with a usb print server in it which would allow both computers to share the printer. if you still in for wireless then you could just get an airport express which also has a usb port to share printers. i am not sure how well print sharing works between macs and pcs so i won't recommend you do that (this involves having the printer connected to one computer and the other shares it across the network, of course the computer with the printer attached would have to remain on to print).

In terms of changing settigs.......both machines should be set to receive an IP from the router and hence you shouldn't need to change any setting. of course if either machine has been changed from the default, you might.

in terms of speed being slowed...... well yes and no...... max speed coming in from the modem will not be effected. but if you get an adsl 512k connection then your modem can only download at a theoretical max of 64k/sec meaning if you are downloading at 50k/sec and then your boy tries to download something too then you're both likely to share the connection evenly(ie 25-30k/sec). so as you can see your download speeds are reduced when you look at your individual machine but not in terms of how fast your modem is actually downloading. i hope i haven't been too confusing.

9th August 2005, 09:39 AM
Thanks macmate/neil...

Neil - I'm a sucker for a cheaper alternative...but I am unsure how I go about with your solution? Could you give me a dummies guide to the cabling involved? How do I network the PC and mac via ethernet if I'm connecting directly to the modem via ethernet?

Macmate - thanks for the info... It's crystal. I can live with $40-$70. Do you have any recommendations for a hub to use? Also, I don't think I will bother with the printer! He doesn't do much printing anyway ...it's mainly me printing photos. The rest we print at work (hehe :lol: )

Finally...could someone explain something for me? I've been bombarded with terms which I don't really understand. Whats the diff between routers/switches and hubs?

Thanks again!!


9th August 2005, 09:52 AM
for neils solution it would involve you gettting a second ethernet card for you mac so you could have both the modem and PC connected to it. alternatively you could connect the modem to your mac via USB, which i really don't recommend! if you were going to get the ethernet card then you may as well just get a switch.

hub - look at it as a powerboard for ethernet ports. or like a usb hud, allowing many usb ports where there was only one previously.

switch - a smart hub. it knows where traffic needs to go and process it correctly. these have made hubs a thing of the past even though some people still call switches hubs even though they are not.

router - a router is like a switch but with a special port for an external connection. it basically routes/bridges two networks together so they can speak. in this example it is allowing your internal network to access the larger network that is the internet. your router controls data coming in and out. they are more secure as they often have a firewall in them which blocks certain types of data from coming in or out (this can of course be configured to allow that same data through if you so wish).

i know this is an over simplified def. of these things but i feel that the major differences have been highlighted.

your all welcome to add any useful data to these desciptions, or correct me if i have made a mistake.


9th August 2005, 10:13 AM
if you go with bigpond cable/adsl get the wireless modem..
it comes with a bigpond disk you stick it in the computer and it hooks you up...
it is toooooooo easy........

maybe not a true geek setup.... but very very simple

9th August 2005, 10:22 AM
Thanks macmate/Kuma.

I'll go shopping today.....still any recommendations on models etc?

Thanks Kuma but I have already signed with Optusnet which included a wonderful setup disk too. When ran on the XP machine, it took us through the entire process in a very cute flash presentation showing how to plug in and automatically configured everything for us. But it only worked on the PC...not compatilbe with Mac (man I'm sick of those words "not compatible"). When I called for some help on the support line...I realised that they don't support mac. - after holding for over 1/2 an hour grrrrrr :angry: )

Thanks all,


9th August 2005, 12:10 PM
Just get the cheapest D-Link (or other brand) Switch you can find and 2 ethernet cables that are the length you need. Then plug the modem and the two computers into the switch.

Set both machines to get an IP address via DHCP, which the DSL-302G will hand out. Log into the DSL-302G (by typing its IP address into a web browser like Safari) and put your username and password for your DSL connection (this may have already been done).

Then both computers should be on the internet permanently.

This is a much simplified explanation based on these facts:

Your ADSL Modem is a router as well (automatically splits the signal for you)

You just need a hub/switch to share the connection

9th August 2005, 01:44 PM
if you are still looking at sharing a printer, its really easy.

at my place we have 3 windows machines, the printer is run of one of the XP machines.

Your network will have to be setup first.

If the printer is installed on the windows machine:
-once the printer is installed, go to control panel>Printers and Faxes.
-you should see your printer there, right click on the printer and select sharing.
-click the 'share this printer' radio button, and then give it a name (something simple) click OK.

now on your mac go to system preferences>print & fax
im not sure if you are using Tiger or Panther so ill list both

-click on setup printers
-change the selection box to Windows Printing
-navigate your way to the XP box, double click it.
-you should now see the name of the printer installed on the XP box, select it then click the add button.

-click the + symbol, this will bring up the printer browser, click on more printers
-change the selection box to Windows Printing
-navigate your way to the XP box, double click it.
-you should now see the name of the printer installed on the XP box, select it then click the add button.

note that the computer that the printer is installed on must be ON when trying to print.

if the printer is installed on the mac let me know and ill type up set by step process.

9th August 2005, 02:34 PM
Hi xfodder! Thanks SO much for the info. The printer is currently installed on the Mac (running Tiger). Is it just as simple to do the process the other way around?

Also...update on the modem. I spoke with Dlink directly who said that it is possible for me to have the Mac and the PC plugged in simultaneously without the use of a switch. I can have the mac plugged in via ethernet and the PC via USB. All I need to do is enable NAT in the modem advanced settings (If I enable this, optus no longer support me...but hey, they don't support Mac anyway!!) So I will give this a try from home tonight and see how it goes. If this option works for me, does this mean I can't share the printer as there is no network between the machines?

9th August 2005, 03:09 PM
that would be correct.

9th August 2005, 07:21 PM
Success!! After enabling NAT on the modem, both machines are now successfully accessing the net at the same time via the different connections.

Thanks to everyone for the help! This forum rocks!