Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

Have you ever felt a need to share your internet connection with someone or to borrow their Internet connection just because life is so unfair that some people enjoy unlimited internet access and a large number of us have to manage in so less that there comes a time when the starting of the next month is far ahead and you have no internet remaining to last even a single more minute? Well, you need not worry since Microsoft tries to make sure every need of our is served and we’re provided with all the services we need and deserve.


Microsoft Operating System (OS) provides a service in all its' Windows processors, under its’ service named SharedAccess. where you can share your computing device's internet connection with all the computers in a Local Network Area (LAN). This service is called Internet Connection Sharing or simply, ICS. Two Network Interface Cards (NICs) is needed to configure it. One card will be connected to the computer which has the internet connection (it is also called a gateway device because all the traffic of the other computers and the internet connection is channeled through this device) and the other to the LAN switch. Another simple term for the gateway device is LAN switch, all the computers who are going to share the internet connection (and therefore called the clients) will be connected to it as well as the NIC card.


In order to provide this service Network Address Translation (NAT) is required. In this process, ICS routes Transport Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), from LAN to the internet and maps the other computers' IP address on the gateway Computer. IP plays a huge role in sending and receiving data packets. There’s also an alternative to the Windows NAT router service. It doesn’t have a specific name but is used in a traditional home network. Instead of using NIC cards, the gateway is directly connected to the modem. Because of this, Internet Connection Sharing holds an advantage in terms of adaptability and works with Digital Subscriber Line (DSL used mostly in telephone service), Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN, just like DSL, used mostly in public switched telephone network), satellite and cable. Even though using the hardware for ICS is the most lenient, convenient and reliable method, that isn’t the only options available. There are alternatives. Two of them to be precise. Both are software named WinProxy and WinGate.

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