XP Networking Question with ISDN

By owens100 ยท 14 replies
Apr 16, 2002
  1. Hello!

    Any help with my situation would be greatly appreciated. I will give you all the info that I can, so everyone will better understand my situation.

    I live in the country and can't get cable or dsl. Yet my two boys and I do plenty of gaming at a low 28K (torture). So I am spending some hard earned bucks to get ISDN 128k (2 bus.
    lines = $). I purchased a 3com ISDN lan Modem 3C892 (4 port).
    This high speed modem has it's own router and hub. And on my main computer I am on windows XP. I hope to run a total of 3 (= +2) computers on a LAN using my XP software networking capabilities. And I will be using ccat 5 cable between the computers with ethernet PCI 10/100 cards . My phone company (ISDN IP) and the modem maker 3com don't offer much help as to networking or gaming.

    I just leaned today from a 3com tech that my goal of 2-3 computers being able to online game and sometimes even in the same actual game together will be a problem. Because, their 3c892 modem can't do port redirection etc. Next, rather than using my IPS common dynamic address system, the tech said the only idea would be if: I could buy several public addresses 1 for the lan and one more for each of the computers = 4 addresses. I then called my IP and confirmed in fact they can provide me with a block of 8 static address but for a charge of $14.00 per month. I guess I may have to pay this additional cost, I am so far into this project already, with phone company installing lines and ISDN May 1st. Anyway, then as I understand things I will setup the network by turning off the Windows NAT and should consider using a firewall software for some protection. Then setup = m,y need to configure whatever firewall software I use by setting up within the software exactly what ports etc., each computer will accept communicationms from, I assume meaning from the gaming sites etc.

    QUESTION IS: I hear XP has it's own firewall. What is it called? And will it have the capability for me set up each computer with it's own static address? Or do I need to purchase some other firewall software? I am not real technical. So any replys must be presented to me in very simple details and any instructions need be step-by-step.

    Also, anyone know what I need to do to get into games like Everquest, Diablo, Broodwar etc., with 2-3 of us isometimes in the very same game? I have read on the internet games that often the most common home lan problems are due to firewalls and/or people with lans who want two players to partisipate but the gaming site sees only specific IP address for both players etc.

    I really appreciate anyone taking the time. I only ask because I really need to do all this hardware and software myself in order to have the money to take on such a project. I just can't afford to pay someone to come out to my gouse and do this work. But I am getting a bit confused. And getting worried that I may all this time and money only to find in the end that we we have a system goal that won't work for gaming etc.


  2. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

    Just a quick little reply and I'll come back later to fill in with more detail. The Windows XP firewall is simply called the Internet Connection Firewall and IMO is adequate for most use. It can be found by right clicking on the Local Area Connection and choosing Properties, then going to the Advanced tab and checking the box. It is from Microsoft so its not the best, but I think it will suit your needs. If your looking for more protection, I would suggest looking into firewall programs such as ZoneAlarm and Tiny Personal Firewall, although there are many other options, but these are two of the more popular ones.

    As far as setting up your own IP address you will need to go to the Internet Protocol which is also found in the Properties of the Local Area Connection under the General Tab. Double click the Internet Protocol button and you'll get another window allowing you to set your own IP addresses.

    I have a home network with a router that has one IP address, and three computers on it each with their own subIP address, which I set by doing the above steps and I have no problems playing online games with my roomates.
  3. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    Does that modem/router of yours have NAT or DHCP capability? That basically means that the router can assign each PC connected to it a unique LAN IP address automatically so that each of them can access the net simultaneously. You don't need to pay extra for multiple IP addresses unless you want to. The single IP address assigned to you by your ISP will be stored in the router. With this scheme, the router basically acts as a firewall since outsiders don't have direct connection to each computer.

    You can assign static LAN IP address to each computer in WinXP if you don't want to use DHCP or your router doesn't have that capability.

    Certain games can only allow one LAN PC to play internet games if you only have one IP address(which is the one assigned to the router); other games don't have such restrictions. However, you can setup a LAN game and each of your LAN PC can play simultaneously.

    I suggest you get ZoneAlarm(zonelabs.com) as an added software firewall and forget about WinXPs built-in firewall. A router can only block incoming data but not outgoing data which trojans are notorious for.
  4. owens100

    owens100 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I appreciate your help. Thanks! I guess I will just try it first before resorting to buying any additional static IP lines. You referred to other info. Please send when you have some time.


  5. owens100

    owens100 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    erwin1978 Thaaks for your help!


    Your post was very helpful also. As I told Cheetah, I think I will hold off on buying those static ip addresses. The way I understand it. I will have a static IP address for the LAN provided with my phone service package. Then I should try the dynamic addresses with my computers (from my IP) and the system can assign 2nd and 3rd somputers on the lan automatically correct?

    As to firewalls. Which firewall do you feel is ok and the easiest for a non tech type to configure specific ports? Say if I ever need to control such things. Like setting it up to identify and accept incoming data from (gaming sites) any particular sites I wish. Not sure how to state the last question above it is something the
    3-com tech mentioned to me.

    What ydo ou guys think of Sygate Personal Firewall 4.1 (free) or the 4.2 pro. Saw top ratings on it from one site. I will check price on the ones you guy suggested. I want protection but prefer the one with the best support (phone) and simplest menus etc., as far as setting up and using. A lot of gamers seem to have problems getting through their firewalls andthen need disable them to play. I noticed the one game site I use the most called Battlenet , says they are now NAT compatable. So I have reason to believe this site may work smoothly for me.

    Thnaks for your time!

  6. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    There's a freeware version of ZoneAlarm and it's very simple. Although you can't specify specific ports to block; only applications that try to gain internet access.

    What router do you have? If you want to block or open any ports you may be able to do it in your router setting. I personally have a Linksys BFSR41 router so I don't know if yours have this feature.

    If your router supports NAT and DHCP, it will assign the LAN IP to each computer connected to it. Otherwise, you can configure Windows on each computer and assign them a static LAN IP address.
  7. owens100

    owens100 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a 3com ISDN LAN Modem Model 3C892, 4 port here are the basic details I got from their marketing material:


    CD tutorial, SPID wizard, Web configurator simplify setup

    Creates an instant LAN for sharing a printer, fax machine, ISDN access

    Enables dial-in hosting, remote LAN, individual dial-in/dial-out access

    Supports simultaneous access to two ISPs, simultaneous voice and data calls

    Built-in DHCP/DNS server makes it easy to add addresses

    Support for Intelligent NAT, PPTP VPN, and other security protocols

    Fast transmissions: 64 or 128 Kbps; 256 Kbps with compression

    Supports call waiting, forwarding, conferencing; caller ID

    Since it is NAT compatable I think I am ok. My concern and area of confusion is that the 3 com tech thought if I wanted to get all two or sometimes (all) three of my computers in the very same game tec., I could run into trouble with the modem/router no providing port redirection. The think she was saying the game site would ping back or send information back to my computer and it would go to my router or main computer regardless and maybe not get to the other computers say labeled as 2 and 3 for example. That is why she mentioned maybe going with multiple static IP addresses. Does this make since to you? On the other hand, others have said the system would be fine with dynamic IP addresses and sub addresses.

    I know my ISDN rep said the LAN package comes with one
    static IP address at no additional cost. And I would set up the computers with the software for each individual computers address automatically (dynamic).

    So as I understand it there are 4 adresses. One for the lan and 3 for the 3 computers.

    Plan 2) Now if I have to go back and both purchase and use different static IP addresses for each computer then I understand I must turn off the NAT.

    Any clarification would be appreciated!

    Oh, and thanks on the firewall information.
  8. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    What the 3Com technician said is true for certain internet games. What games will cause you problems? I don't know.
  9. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    The way you are employing DHCP. All of your computers share one physical connection to the outside world, thus, they are all identified as JoeComputer1. So when 2 of yoru computers go online to play a game with others on the internet, both of your IPs as far as the game server is concerned, is JoeComputer1. All packets sent back by the game server will be to JoeComputer1, and problem is, how does the router tell which packet to route to which computer, when there is by all means no indication of who it is intended for, computer 1 or 2, because they are at the same time requesting data to the same source using the same ports?
  10. owens100

    owens100 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Replay To Mac And Erwin

    Well we play Battlenet. Heard some lans have trouble playing in the same game. Other cases creating (hosting a game) games in Bnet. Now Battlenet says they are now NAT compatable, so sounds good. Then there will soon be the new warcraft III out. Next is Diablo, then there is Everquest etc. Concern is these games and the near future major games that will come out within the next 2 years. We live out in the country so my sons play multiplayer games quite often instead of watching the tumbleweeds :).

    QUESTION 1): As mac said games will look at my computer as one computer. This is where I am confused. As I understand things, I will have a static address for my lan. Then my ISP will provide a dynamic address for their service also I think. And the windows software will assist me automatically in the network setup to give each computer their own dyanamic IP addresses (normally 1 digit off the main comps)? So 4 addresses needed. Is this all right?
    Does the one static and 3 dynamic sound correct? I know I have a choice of one of either type for my main account.

    I make a big deal out of this LAN planned because I am spending more and more money and just want to do whatever I can to make it work. If it fails I have achieved nothing. Already had to take one of my sons telephone lines away to get the two business lines needed and ordered for ISDN May 1st. I already have the 3com modem/Router. If this 3 computer lan does not work with these new 45 jacks installed and the conversion to the lan it could be a big failure project.

    QUESTION 2) What exactly is is port redirection anyway? I hear people say there lan works with 2-3 people in their games. Is is normal or is it their router? I heard from 3com, that routers with port redirection are expensive. So I assume few home lans have one. Thus I assume most the success stories I hear about do not have port direction either.

    Anyway, I have read the xp info on setting up a network. And been told by 3com and ISDN phone people to let the phone company set up my main computer on ISDN FIRST before I configure the network. So I really can't test the lan ahead of time. All I have done is line up the 3 com modem/router harware along with the other computers lan cards etc.

    QUESTION 3) Should I use the Network wizard on XP when I configure the lan or do it manually? If I use the wizard can I make changes as easy as the manual approach? I am a bit confused because I don't know how far the phone guy will go on the ISDN install since I bought my own 3com equipment and not theiirs at 4x the price, I was told by my ISDN phone rep that the installer may just stop at the line and jack install. Then the 3com tech said for me to call them and they will help me setup the install of the 3com equipment. Thus, I am not sure but I am guessing at that point it will be partially setup at least for the main one computer. Then I myself will be at the point to use the wizard or manually set up the network for the other two comps I assume?

    This is a long note. But any suggestions starting at the point of adding the additional computers with the setup for gaming in mind?

    Any assistance appreciated!

  11. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    So, let me get this straight: your router has 5 jacks on the back, one is where the telephone line connects to, and the 4 RJ-45 ports? The router connects to the telephone line through a RJ-11 to RJ-45 ISDN cable? Can you send pictures of the back of this router.

    "...new 45 jacks installed and the conversion to the lan it could be a big failure project" -- What do you mean by this?

    This should really be simple. If you've installed winXP and install ethernet cards for each computer, winXP will configure each computer to handle broadband before you even get ISDN. When the day comes and the technician has finished the wiring, you simply connect each computer to the router with the RJ-45 cables. Simple as that. No need to configure anything else. You might need to setup Internet Explorer to detect your LAN to access the internet.

    Whether your ISP gives you a static or dynamic IP address, it will be stored as the router's IP address. Since your package includes one RJ-45 cable you will have to get 2 extra RJ-45 cables to connect all 3 computers to the router.

    Your 3 computers will be connected to 3 ports on the back of the router; if all 3 computers are playing the same net game, the router needs to know which computer to send the data to when it receives them from the game server. That's what port redirecting is I believe.

    Do you access the settings for the router by typing an IP address in Internet Explorer?

    Consider upgrading the firmware of the router as well. According to 3com website, the latest firmware is 5.3.1 for your model. Check and see if your router already have this.
  12. owens100

    owens100 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for all the help. Sorry for delay in my reply. I have been absent recently. Well Qwest is to install ISDN tomorrow May 1st. So I will see how it goes. As to your few questions I will need to figure that out in tomorrow. Yes your info on the 3 com and jacks is correct.

    Regarding my statement this could be a big failure project. I did not mean the network or ISDN not working. I was referring to the fact that the gaming was the whole purpose for starting this network and ISDN service. Thus spending several hundred dollars and taking on an additional $60.00 montyhly in phone fees for a 3 computer gaming capable system that may or may not work as hoped. It seems each system's own particular setup and each particular gaming site have many complex issues. I read the postings from game sites and some people have problems and other do not with nearly the same system and configuration. So I guess I will just have to deal with each particular issue as they arise. There seems no way to plan to evry possiblity in advance.

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks Again!

  13. dcjle@bellsouth

    dcjle@bellsouth TS Rookie

    Not realy an answer to your question, but another related question: I too have a 3Com 3C892A ISDN LAN Modem because I don't have access to DSL, cable, etc. It's slow, but better than the barbed wire facility everyone else out here in the sticks has.

    My question is: I have kept one old PC with a Windows ME OS because the only software (disk) I got with the 3C892A is limited (I think) to Windows 95, 98, & ME. Is there a software download somewhere that will allow me to use the 3C892A on a Windows XP or Vista OS?
  14. mickzer

    mickzer TS Rookie Posts: 101

  15. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TS Enthusiast Posts: 161

    Post stopped?

    What was the outcome? Good to know...
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