1 DSL, 2 iMacs, NO WIRELESS... How to?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by vbagley, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. vbagley macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2011
    Requirement is "hard wired"... is there a way to do this with a router or ethernet splitter without slowing down my connection? Or do I have to use one iMac at a time and keep switching the ethernet cable from the iMacs into the DSL modem? Anyone know? I would be grateful for good suggestions?
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah, you can get a router without wireless (or a wireless one and just disable that component). HERE is a good one from Amazon that has a heck of a discount right now.
  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Yes. A switch or router, e.g. from Netgear, LinkSys, would work. If you're downloading large files using the two computers simultaneously, they'd share the bandwidth and slow each other's downloads, but with normal use (browsing, email) you wouldn't notice any difference with having both connected simultaneously. I have four computers often connected simultaneously.

    If you're likely to be transferring large amounts of data between the two Macs, get a gigabit switch, which is 10x faster but costs maybe $10 more than a 100Mbit/s switch or router.

    In fact, you may not want wireless now, but may in the future, so getting a wireless router like blevins suggested means you could connect e.g. an iPad, or let a friend or family member connect when visiting. You can turn off the wireless when not in use.
  4. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd just use a router or ethernet switch. It doesn't slow your connection down, unless you are trying to use a lot of bandwidth on both computers.
  6. iowamensan macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2006
    Switch won't work by itself... you need a router to do NAT and DHCP. you most likely only get one IP from your ISP.
  7. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    Really two different things the OP needs. One he knows about, and one he doesn't. ;)

    First, a request for some clarification. You have a DSL modem that has a single Ethernet port on the back, right? You stated "no wireless". I'm assuming that that's due to some kind of restriction - i.e. workplace or parents or whoever said "no wireless". Is this correct? Or do you simply mean that your DSL modem doesn't have WiFi?

    Anyway, if there is some "no wireless" restriction, then the wireless router one person suggested is out.

    Does the DSL modem have NAT built in? Do you know what NAT is? (Do a little Wikipedia research...) NAT allows several computers to share a single Internet connection. It changes the packets going out to the Internet so that they all come from the same address. It also provides *some* firewall protection, in that incoming packets are only accepted if they match-up with an outgoing packet. By default, a NAT router won't accept any incoming connections. You can set it up to accept incoming connections, in that case you need to designate which computer to send them to for a given port.
    This is of no concern to you unless you are running a server, etc.

    If your DSL modem does not have NAT, and also doesn't have some kind of firewall, then you are currently *very* vulnerable to attack.

    It would be useful to post your DSL modem model.

    If it does have NAT, then I'm a bit surprised that they didn't build in a small Ethernet switch and give you multiple Ethernet ports. If it does have NAT, then you should only need to add an Ethernet switch. Get a gigabit switch, which will make then connection BETWEEN your Macs very fast. (For copying files back and forth, etc.) For the Internet connection, gigabit is a non-issue, since Internet speeds are (typically) way below that of even a 100M switch.

    If it doesn't have NAT, then you need a router or firewall. Think "wifi router without the wifi". It's a bit of a specialty product, because they are usually built into a WiFi device, cable modem, or DSL modem.

    You can also look for a compatible DSL modem that has a built-in router and switch.

    You will have to check your provider's terms of service to see if it's OK to connect more than one computer. Generally, though, the provider won't be able to detect that you are using NAT, so won't know in any case.
  8. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
  9. vbagley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2011
    My reply in red.

    Oiyvay! More waiting on hold! Maybe the best thing to do is connect and disconnect from the modem with whichever mac I happen to be using at the time?

    It seems there are never easy answers for my questions.
  10. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2010
  11. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2011
    Yeah there is. Go to BB or OD or Staples or Walmart and get the cheapest switch they have ($20 or less). Plug it into the modem, and then plug both computers into it. I will bet it will work at that point.

    If not, then you can always return the switch. My guess is that you have a DSL router without a built-in switch. Again, the actual model # of the router would be very helpful.
  12. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Is THIS the modem you have?

    I'm no expert, but I'd say that you'd need a router. Spend a little more to get one with Gigabit speeds (aka 10/100/1000T). I've only ever used Netgear and Apple networking products and I can say that setting the network up with either is very easy. I'm guessing that Linksys, Belkin, etc. are all just as easy.

    No need to buy your own modem, unless you're paying AT&T a lease fee ... that $5/mo adds up and a DSL modem/router could pay off in a year or so.
  13. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
  14. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    It's incredibly difficult to find any technical information on your modem. It's re-branded by phone companies, and I guess they provide their own documentation, if any.

    One thing that concerns me is that I found it in one place describe as a "bridge". This means that it does NOT have NAT, and would leave your computer open to attack if you do not use a router between your computer and the modem.

    So you really might want to go to ATT and ask them for a list of compatible models that you could buy. Buy one with a built-in router and switch.

    I also came across some discussion on how to get this modem to work with a router. It's a bit complicated. Apparently, you need a router that has a "clone MAC address" feature. It appears that it requires a single MAC address to be "registered" - not sure how this is done, whether it has to be done by ATT, etc. But anyway, it will only allow a single MAC address to talk to it, and since your computer is already the registered address, you need a router that can "clone" your computer's MAC address to the WAN side of the modem. Point is, it's set up to work with your computer and your computer only, so you have to fool it into thinking that the router is your computer.

    Given the need for "clone MAC address", I don't think it would even work if you switched it between the two computers. Have you actually tried that? I think it might just refuse to talk to the second computer.

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