How to Use a Router to Connect Two Computers to the Internet

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Routers are multi-faceted devices that perform several key functions in networking. Besides connecting networks with each other, they are used to share an Internet connection especially in small networks typical of homes, home offices and new business ventures. Most routers use Network Address Translation (NAT) to determine the smartest path of a data packet to its destination. A router essentially functions as a gateway between a network and the Internet. Here is how a router can be used to connect two computers to the Internet.

Step 1

Ensure that both computers have a LAN (or an Ethernet) card allowing the sharing of files and peripherals. Though all new computers and laptops are equipped with such cards, you may need to buy and attach LAN cards for older models.

Step 2

Connect the cable from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the Internet port of your router. Note that if you have an ADSL connection, your input cable would be a telephone line that needs to be inserted into the ADSL port of the router. For all other connections, you would have a thicker cable known as CAT5 (or CAT6).

Step 3

Take two Ethernet cables and plug them into the Ethernet ports of the router. Note that you will require a router with at least two Ethernet ports to share Internet on two computers. Plug the other end of each of the cables into the Ethernet port of the computers. If you have a router with a single Ethernet port, buy a switch or hub and connect the router with it (using the Ethernet cable). In turn, the switch (or hub) that includes at least two Ethernet ports will have to be connected to the computers.

Step 4

Switch on the router and the computers.

Step 5

Configure the router by referring to its user manual. The configuration process defers depending on the type and brand of the router. Once configured, you should be able to access Internet on both computers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid static induced damage by wearing suitable gloves while installing the router.
  • Proximity to electrical appliances may disrupt a router's reception. Place routers as far away as possible from electronic gadgets to avoid poor quality.