My setup is DSL -> Router -> machines and it was a snap to setup and I haven't bothered with it for months outside of power cycling the router and modem when it acted oddly. But that hasn't happened since new FIRMWARE showed up which seems to have fixed something.
In short, it's not something I have to spend any time on.
Apologies for the lengthy description:
This is for a home office based medical consulting business.
I have a D-Link 504 4-port DSL Router as the connection to the phone line -- firewall off.
I have the router connected to the XP pro Host internet card (two Network cards).
The Host and the other two computers (Xp Home and W98SE) on the LAN connect to a 5-port switch.
The Network Bridge used to be in the Host between the internet card and the LAN card.
Host: WAS .0.2 on internet network card
now all three computers cards are set to "obtain automatically" for IP address and DNS server. but now not functioning as a network nor as a gateway.
Story: I was adding a new XP home computer to a well-functioning network with an XP Pro host. THe network wizard on the new machine was run but the XP Home computer did not integrate properly -- eg the Pro machine would not allow it to see the Shared docs. Also printer off this new Xp Home machine (which needs to act as the print server) soon becomes unavailable to Host even after correct adding and test page print.
When i followed the Micrsoft prompt to run the Network trouble shooter (gulp) on the XP Pro Host I lemminged into the Network Wizard which erased the working bridge. and now only the Host can access the internet and nothing else can access or be accessed.
Last I tried to sort this when the Network was established 3 years ago (the print server was a W95 machine...), I had to replace the carpet owing to traipsing back and forth altering settings and rebooting all the machines over and over. In fact I had to get help in to get the bridge to work. BUT it did work well and trouble-free until the Troubleshooter got me.
The ISP has told me to get rid of the switch and put it all through the router. I like the idea of the switch because it makes all the traffic go through the Host, which has a TrendMicro firewall with Realtime scan, plus network settings and permissions i can understand how to adjust, plus AdAwareSE Plus. It seems easier to keep all this protection watched and maintained on the one machine.
The router does have a stateful firewall turned off, (because i could easily understand how to configure it, and it seemed that permissions were required for every application).
As there are other users even less sophisticated than me and i am away consulting by day, the setup can not have anything that requires decisions and action otherwise they will have to keep calling me up and bug me while i am trying to consult.
Is there a better way, before I try to emulate what i had before?