About Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a feature in Microsoft Windows 8 operating system that allows one Internet connection line to be shared among multiple computers in homes and small or medium scale industries. Although ICS can be enabled and used in large scale industries as well, it is not practical to do so because of the limited valid IP addresses that are automatically assigned to the computers among which the Internet is shared.
In order to enable ICS on a computer, the computer must have at least two NICs installed in it. Any one of the two NICs must be connected to the Internet, and the other NIC must be connected either to a different computer directly or to a central device that has multiple computers connected to it. ICS must be enabled on the NIC that is connected to the Internet.
Once ICS is enabled on the NIC that is connected to the Internet, the other NIC automatically assigns 192.168.137.1 static IP address and 255.255.255.0 subnet mask to itself and turns into a mini DHCP server. As a mini DHCP server, the NIC assigns dynamic IP addresses to all the client computers that are connected to the central device to which the NIC is connected as well. The dynamic IP addresses that are assigned to the computers belong to C class and have 192.168.137.0 network address with 255.255.255.0 subnet mask. The first IP address that is assigned to a client computer to which the Internet connection is to be shared is 192.168.137.2 and its subnet mask is 255.255.255.0.
To enable ICS on a Windows 8 computer, administrators must follow the steps given below:
- Log on to Microsoft Windows 8 computer with the account that has elevated privileges.
- Click Desktop icon from the Start window.
- Once on the desktop screen, press Windows + R keys together to open Run command box.
- In the available field in the Run command box, type NCPA.CPL command and press Enter key.
- On the Network Connections window, right-click the NIC that is connected to the Internet and on which ICS is to be enabled.
- From the context menu, click Properties.
- On the NIC’s properties box, go to the Sharing tab.
- Check Allow other network users to connect to this computer’s Internet connection checkbox.
- Click OK to enable ICS on the selected NIC.