Networking using a hub Using a hub to connect computers, is basically the same as building a LAN. A switch is a more competent and expensive hub. Hubs are cheap, around $30. Pros: Fairly easy, good speed 10 or 100 MBps, comes in kits found in computer stores Cons: Requires two IP-addresses, no security Setup: Each PC needs one NIC that goes to the hub, which in turn is connected to the cable modem. Then the network adapters need to be configured in Windows so that the computers work well on the same network. The sharing of the connection is provided by your setup of the network and the hub.
Using a crossover network cable This is basically the same as using the above mentioned null modem, except you connect two NICs by a crossover network cable. 'Crossover' means that the cable is twisted with respect to it's internal wiring; some of the wires change places in the connector plugs. Here too, you use Internet Connection Sharing in Windows, as described above under peer-to-peer . One PC is setup as a host, and the other as a guest. Pros: Fairly easy, good speed 10 or 100 MBps, only requires one IP address Cons: Well, you might still have to fiddle with your network settings. Setup: Install the NICs and setup up the network adapters in Windows. Then use ICS to share the connection.
USB connections OK, this is not a separate type of connection; it's just another type of connectors that have driver support in Windows already. You can use a NIC or a modem with a USB adapter and then use a hub or a router. Or you can make a direct cable connection using a USB direct cable cable (~$50) and some software. Pros: Easy, good speed 4-8 MBps Cons: USB not super reliable Setup: Insert USB cable and then use ICS, if you use a direct connection. If connected to hub/router, see above.
This site covers some of the technical issues which can arise when troubleshooting a cable modem connection (including broadband via digital TV set top box) on the NTLworld and Telewest Blueyonder services in the UK and Ireland. Information specific to NTL has a green background, and information specific to Blueyonder has a blue background. Otherwise, information not on one of those backgrounds should be valid for most cable operators world-wide, although appropriate allowances might need to be made to adjust for local circumstances. Much of the information on this site is also applicable to other forms of broadband connection, such as ADSL, but ADSL-specific issues are not addressed.