ICS Companion 1.0

Internet Connection Sharing Without ICS Companion:

When you normally use Microsoft® Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) with Dial-Up Networking, to connect and disconnect to/from the Internet, you must deal with one of the following:

1. Use ICS / Dial-Up Networking’s auto-connect and auto-disconnect capabilities. For auto-connect, this means that any user on your network may simply use the internet, and the ICS host will dial the connection to the Internet … the user never knows the difference. For auto-disconnect, this means that when all Internet related network activity has ceased for a specific period of time, then the ICS host will automatically disconnect your modem from the Internet. It initially sounds great… even perfect! However, there are several problems with this:

A. Any Internet related activity means any TCP/IP activity. For the layman, TCP/IP is essentially the "language" that two computers use while communicating over the Internet. Unfortunately for the auto-disconnect feature, most network applications written today (including games!) are written to use TCP/IP, even when you’re not on the Internet!! Many network applications that run only on your local network use TCP/IP. Again, for the layman, a local network (even a home network) that uses TCP/IP applications is generally called an "Intranet". The ICS host won’t disconnect you from the Internet if Intranet activity exists! So, if you’re playing a game, or running any other applications that use TCP/IP, you’re phone bill (and/or Internet bill) may just keep going up! Not to mention the fact that if your Internet Service Provider has a time limit it, the time allotted may be used up for nothing!

B. If the person using the ICS host computer is done using the Internet, they may accidentally manually disconnect all of the other computers by closing the Dial-Up Networking connection. This might happen because they think no one is using the Internet (If they see no apparent activity on the modem "status lights"), or even out of force of habit. If they do this, someone still actually using the connection will be abruptly cut off.

C. If you use any TCP/IP based program (again, many are TCP/IP based), the ICS host will try to automatically connect you to the Internet… sometimes even when Windows® first boots! It doesn’t know that (for example) you’re just reading the email you’ve already downloaded, and your family member is on the phone, and attempting to connect will nastily interrupt their conversation.

2. Manually go to the ICS host computer and connect / disconnect. Besides the inconvenience of having to go to another room to connect or disconnect, reason "B" (above) applies. Someone else in your home or office might accidentally disconnect your Internet service while you are actually using it!

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