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HP and Compaq PCs - Internet Connection Sharing (Windows XP)

This document contains information on installing, using, and troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) on HP and Compaq computers with Windows XP.
One way to share an Internet connection is to use a hardware router. When using ICS, you can share one Internet connection between two or more computers using the Windows XP software. Before installing or using ICS, contact your Internet service provider (ISP) or read your ISP's Terms and Conditions of Use policy to determine how you can share your connection.

Before you begin

Before beginning, check the following items. Troubleshoot and correct these before setting up ICS.
  • Browse the Internet to make sure the host computer (the computer with the Internet connection) can connect to the Internet.
  • Make sure the local network is functioning correctly and that computers on the network can share files.
  • Make sure all client computers (computers connected to the host computer through the local network) can connect to the host computer.

Step 1: Set up the host computer

Use the Network Setup Wizard to set up the host computer.
To best protect the network from computer security threats, HP recommends that the host computer use a firewall (either through hardware or software) and contain all the latest updates to Windows XP. However, you might need to create exceptions for the client computer in the firewall software. Enable firewall software AFTER setting up Internet Connection Sharing and ICS is working.
  1. On the host computer, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Communications, and then click Network Setup Wizard.
  2. Click Next and follow the instructions until the connection method window displays.
  3. In the connection method window, click This computer connects directly to the Internet. Follow the instructions to complete the setup.

Step 2: Make sure ICS is enabled

  1. On the host computer, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet Connection, and then click Network Connections.
  3. Right-click the icon for the Internet connection and select Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab and select Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection in Internet Connection Sharing.
    If the host computer is using a dial-up connection and you want the other client computers to dial a connection, select Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Yes to set the LAN adapter to
  7. When done, make sure the host computer can connect to the Internet. If not, troubleshoot the Internet connection.

Step 3: Setting up client computers

Configure each client computer using the following steps:
  1. On a client computer, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet Connection, and then click Network Connections.
  3. Right-click the LAN connection that is on the same network as the host computer and select Properties.
  4. On the General tab under This connection uses the following items, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.
  5. Click Obtain an IP address automatically and then click OK.
    To assign a static IP address, make sure it starts with 192.168.0 and that the last number is any distinct number of 2 to 254. (Another computer on the local network cannot have the same last number.) Set the subnet mask to Set the default gateway to the same address as the host computer; Set the Preferred DNS server to, since the host computer will act as the DNS server for the rest of the computers on the network.
  6. Click OK and close any open windows.
  7. Make sure the host computer is turned on and connected to the Internet. Then try to connect to the Internet from the client computer.
    • If the client computer can connect to the Internet, configure another client computer until all client computers can connect to the Internet through the host computer.
    • If the client computer cannot connect to the Internet, make sure it can connect to the host computer and share files. If it cannot share files, troubleshoot the local network. Then continue to the next section.

ICS troubleshooting

If the host computer is set up, connecting to the Internet and sharing files with other computers on the local network, check the following:
  • One-way connections, like many satellite connections, use special hardware for downloading and a dial-up connection for uploading. These types of connections are not compatible (at the time of this writing).
  • Temporarily disable any firewall software, to see if the firewall is interfering.
  • Make sure Internet Connection Sharing is not enabled on any of the client computers.
  • If you cannot get Internet Connection Sharing to work on a network with the clients set to obtain their IP addresses automatically, manually assign static IP addresses. See Step 3: Setting up client computers for instructions.

Related support

Microsoft support article, How to configure Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP (in English)
Microsoft support article, Troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP (in English)






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