In the recent demise of my wireless router, no! Just last week, after several days of freakish weather including thunderstorms that shook the house, I entered my office to find that the lights were out on my TrendNet wireless router, and absolutely no one was home. Funny thing was, it was plugged into my APC BackUPS 500 CLR and no other devices were damaged, so I’m left scratching my head, trying to figure out if it was related to the storm or simply a failure of the device. Of course, I will replace it eventually, since the temporary solution is just that – temporary. But you can breathe easy knowing if you ever experience a failure of your router and can’t immediately replace it, there is an option that will help you out until you do.

First, I am assuming you are using DSL or Cable as your connection to the internet, that you are using more than one computer, and that you are using a router to connect the other computers to the internet via wire or wireless means. If the router is part of your internet service device, you probably need to call your service provider.

Next you need to turn off everything – Cable/DSL modem, router, and computers. Then connect your modem to your primary computer directly, bypassing the router (it’s broken, remember?). Turn on the modem, wait for the startup test to complete and then turn on your computer. You should be able to get online at this point. Pretty easy so far. Now, if you are planning on using a wired LAN, you need a switch or a hub. Most of them have an Uplink port. Unplug the cable from the back of your Mac and plug it into the Uplink port on the switch/hub. Now plug another cable into any of the numbered ports and then into the back of the Mac. Now turn the switch/hub on. You should still be able to connect to the internet through this method. Go ahead and attach any other computers or printers that were wired before into the numbered ports, but don’t turn them on just yet.

Now it’s time to set up the software. This little gem is found in the Sharing control panel. On the left, you’ll see the line Internet Sharing. Wait! Don’t check it just yet. To the right you’ll see a popup that says Share your Ethernet connection from:. Make sure to select Ethernet, since this is how the connection is currently being made to the modem. Then just below that is a widow that has a series of check boxes with the title, To computers using: Just check off the ones that are appropriate. If you only use wireless, select Airport, if you only use CAT5 network cables, select Ethernet. Select both if you are planning to use both. If you use Parallels or Fusion, you may also need to check off other options as well. When you click Ethernet, you will get an error message. Say ok and move on. If you experience problems with this later, you may not be able to use this solution. Then simply place a checkmark next to Internet Sharing on the left and you are done. You should be able to power up the other devices on your LAN and connect. I was able to connect both my wired and wireless computers this way (PCs and Macs).

So it works, great! Why not just use it this way? Well, mainly because it means leaving your computer on all the time. For me, that’s a no-no. Also, I noticed that while it works, things are a little slower on the other computers and some functionality is lost on my main system, mainly AV chat through iChat. Certainly nothing major but it’s an energy waste and and annoyance both of which I can live without.

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