Hooking a modem to two computers via a broadband router
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Routing, network cards, OSI, etc. Anything is fair game.
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The router should get its IP address from the WAN (Internet side) via your Internet Service Provider. On the inside the router will issue 'private' IP addresses which your computers can use to access the internet through your router. The router itself goes through the process of masqerading your internal (private) address from the outside world so that other machines on the Internet see only the address of the router.
Most cunsumer-oriented router/firewall boxes are set up to go off-the-shelf and act as a packet filtering/forwarding firewall. All you need to do is ensure that your internal machines are set up to 'obtain an IP address automatically' which your router should provide(via DHCP).
Once you have a working conection from the inside you can start messing with the firewall rulesets.
Also check out your router's documentation, most come with the ability to setup static internal IP's as well in which makes it more easy if you ever decide to forward requests to a particular machine thru the firewall.
But I would suggest reading your manual, if its a linksys router, they pretty much tell you straight forward how to setup the router.
The router is a D-Link and doesn't have anything helpful in the manual except "be sure to keep it in a well ventilated area." Oh, that's just what I was wondering. I guess I'll search for info on Google.