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How To Connect Router To Old Computer With Cable


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#1 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:00 PM

Got a six year-old Compaq running W98SE. Cable connection to internet via an external Motorola "Surfboard" modem connected to computer via USB cable. Everything working fine.

Our niece is coming to live with us for several months and bringing her fancy new laptop which has built-in ethernet stuff (don't really know what to call it, but she connects anywhere there is Wi-Fi). So to get her connected in our home, I went to our local Wally World and picked up a Linksys wireless router which I figured I'd set on top of my tower, rearrange the cables, and I'd be connected as before and also sending a signal thru the house for her computer to grab. But of course, nothing goes as planned; problem is cabling the router to my old computer. Only connections on the router are LAN-type and only connectors on my computer are USB 1.1's. Newegg doesn't seem to have an adapter or special cable for this.

Is there a way to do this via the USB connectors or am I going to have to install an ethernet card in my tower?
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

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#2 acklan

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:51 PM

You cannot connect the USB on the modem to the router. That modem should also have a ethernet port, or as you referred to it "LAN-type port". You will need to contact you ISP and have them switch the MAC address form the USB port on the modem to the MAC Address on the ethernet port. There should have been a sticker tha came with the modem that had the MAC address for each port. You may be able to type 192.168.100.1 into your browser and see the information page for your modem. There will be your MAC for both your USB and Ethernet ports.

Good luck.
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#3 Rimmer

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:59 PM

Hi Twinsdad!

What model of surfboard do you have? According to the Motorola product guide for the 5101 for example, you can use both the USB port and the ethernet port on the cable-modem so you should be able to leave your PC connection as it was and add the wireless router to the ethernet port. Your PC and wireless laptops should then be able to share the internet connection but I'm not sure if you could network the PCs that way. If your not planning on sharing files or printers then that doesn't matter.

See User Guide for SB5101.

If you do want to share resources then you're best bet is to install a PCI network card and connect to the wireless router with a plain old Cat5e patch cable. You can get USB<->Ethernet adaptors and also USB<->wireless adaptors but a lot of people have trouble with them (the wireless ones anyway) so I'm not going to recommend that.

:thumbsup:
Edit: Not all ISPs allow multiple computers connected so you should check with them like Acklan said.

Edited by Rimmer, 30 March 2006 - 11:03 PM.


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#4 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:00 PM

I've contacted my ISP and they will talk me thru this if needed. But my immediate problem is the physical connection of the router to my tower. The router only has ethernet ports and my puter only has USB ports. As I mentioned, Newegg.com does not seem to have a cable (or an adapter) that will do that. I'm hoping that I don't have to open the tower and install an ethernet card as the dust bunnies in there are really vicious.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#5 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:05 PM

Rimmer: Thanks for weighing in. My Surfboard is a model SB4200 and now that you mention it, it has both a USB and a ethernet port on it's butt. So you're saying I can just keep my present USB cable from the modem to the tower and plug a wireless router to the modem's ethernet port and that will do what I want? I don't really care about connection speeds, but do want my niece to be able to connect anytime she wants, even if I'm causing you trouble here at BC.

And it goes without saying, I want to keep this as simple as possible. Thanks, Bill.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#6 Rimmer

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:06 PM

:thumbsup: We wrote a tutorial for dealing with vicious dust bunnies... here.

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#7 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:15 PM

Rimmer: Someday we'll have to discuss (privately) the mating habits of those dust bunnies...cause they sure are good at multipling!

But don't let me go to sleep tonight without telling me if you think I can simply get away with leaving my modem/tower USB connection and getting wireless in the rest of the house by plugging the router into the ethernet port on the modem. That would be sooooo cool :thumbsup:
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#8 Rimmer

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:21 PM

Motorola are a bit light on info for the SB4200 so I don't know if that model will support both connections but my guess is that it would. Got the manual still? That should say something under 'multiple users'.

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
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#9 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:31 PM

Never got a manual for the modem which was provided by my ISP when they brought the cable in. I've got the set-up CD for it, I'll load that in the morning and see if there's a "help" area.

OTOH, couldn't hurt much to hook the router to it and see if it works. I've got pretty good fire insurance if it explodes. I'll let you know, or just look for smoke coming from the direction of California.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#10 Rimmer

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:32 PM

Good news! I found the link to the Data Sheet eventually... here.

... and it says it supports one user via USB and up to 31 users via the ethernet port. Even better it says the USB port and ethernet port are bridged so you will be able to network between your computer and the wireless PCs if you want.

So far it's all good. :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 30 March 2006 - 11:32 PM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#11 twinsdad

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:41 PM

Rimmer: Great news and I can add another 30 users if needed...it'll be a regular internet cafe around here before long!
That makes it at least a dozen beers and a good dinner I owe you the next time you leave the island and travel East. Thanks for putting me on the right path. I'll let you know tomorrow if this works (it's now bedtime for this old geezer).
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#12 Klinkaroo

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 05:58 PM

Also you could connect the "LAN Type Port" from your router to your tower by installing a Ethernet Card in an available PCI Slot (If you have them).

#13 twinsdad

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 09:38 PM

All is good, final report:

When I connected using both Surfboard modem output ports (USB to my tower and ethernet to the router), my puter was connected, but the router would not indicate a signal. I called my ISP and told them what I was doing and they said that to do it that way would require a second IP which they would be happy to sell me for $5.00/month extra. But then the (very cool) tech told me to do what you folks suggested (and what I was trying to avoid), install an ethernet card and have only the router connected to the modem. I did that without any real problems (except for the dust bunnies) and now my niece is in her bedroom probably loading up on malware whilst I am here thanking all of you for listening and helping.

And Rimmer: I made contact with that fellow we were chatting about...I'll PM you in a few. Thanks for the assist with this problem. I wasn't kidding about the brews and dinner offer.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#14 Rimmer

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 10:58 PM

Good job Twinsdad! :thumbsup: Glad you got it sorted.

BTW - I hope you set up some wireless encryption on that router (and on niece's PC) otherwise you could be a 'free internet' cafe for the rest of the street.

(Don't worry - I've marked you on the map as a stopover on my tour of the US. :flowers: )

Edited by Rimmer, 31 March 2006 - 11:04 PM.


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#15 acklan

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 12:10 AM

hhmm..
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