How to Hook up Two PCs to One DSL Line

by J.T. Barett

Though a Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, is a single connection to the Internet, you can share it between two PCs with a device called a router. The router manages the Internet data traffic from the DSL service; both computer users enjoy a private, secure Internet experience. Routers come in two basic types, wired and wireless. A wired router, having older technology, works with standard Ethernet cables; wireless technology does away with cables and provides Wi-Fi access for your mobile devices as well as PCs.

Turn on the DSL modem and router devices.

Plug one end of the RJ-11 modular telephone cable into a wall jack that has DSL service. Plug the other end into the jack marked "DSL" or "Phone Line" on the modem. A series of lights will flash on the modem, indicating it is establishing an Internet connection. When the lights are solid green, the connection is nearly ready.

Connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the jack marked "Ethernet," "Router" or "WAN" on the modem. Connect the other end to the "Internet" or "Broadband" jack of the router.

Connect one end of another Ethernet cable to the network jack on the back of one PC. Connect the other end to a network jack on the router, typically numbered one through four.

Start a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Chrome, on one of the PCs. Following the instructions provided with your router, type the router's network address into your browser's address bar and load the device's configuration Web page. Using the account information from your DSL service provider, enter the account number, password, telephone company server name and any other information necessary to connect to the DSL service. If you are setting up a wireless network, enter the network's name, or SSID, select a security type, such WPA and enter a password. Do not use the WEP setting, as its security is weak.

Connect the second computer to the router with an Ethernet cable or by configuring its wireless network card with the SSID and password you just created. The shared DSL service is ready to use by both computers.

Tips

  • A steadily blinking red light on the DSL modem typically indicates a problem with the DSL service or connection. Turn the modem and router off, wait for 30 seconds, and turn them on again. Try unplugging and reconnecting the modular phone cable at both ends. If the wire is severely kinked or pinched under furniture, replace the wire. If the problem persists, call your DSL service provider.
  • If the modem's indicator light is a steady green, but you can't connect to the Internet, unplug and reconnect the Ethernet cable between the modem and the router. Double-check the router's configuration. Turn the router's power off, wait 30 seconds, and turn it back on.
  • If the same jack has standard telephone service as well as DSL, plug a "microfilter" into the wall jack and connect the phone to the microfilter's telephone jack. Plug the modular cable from the router into the filter's "ADSL" jack. The filter removes audible noise produced by the DSL signal.
  • To add more computers, simply plug them into the router's Ethernet jacks.

Warning

  • Because your computers share a single DSL service, excessive downloads and other heavy traffic on one computer will slow Internet speeds for the other.

Items you will need

  • DSL router
  • DSL modem
  • RJ-11 modular telephone cable
  • (3) RJ-45 Ethernet cables

About the Author

Chicago native J.T. Barett has a Bachelor of Science in physics from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to "Foresight Update," a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, "Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance."

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images