DirecPC Network Solutions
Using DirecPCs high speed capabilities to provide Internet access to a small office or home network.
DirecPC's high speed download capabilities make it the perfect solution for providing Internet access to a small office network or a multiple PC household. Whether you have a Novell Netware (IPX) or TCP/IP network, there are products available to meet your needs.
Before we begin, you should familiarize yourself with some commonly used terms:
Typical Small Networks
Typically, small offices or multiple PC households that want Internet access use one of
two common configurations. The first and simplest is to install a modem on every PC,
either using one or multiple phone lines. While the simplest, this method is the least
efficient, since it requires as many modems as there are PCs, and needs multiple phone
lines to avoid congestion as one user waits for another to finish before accessing the
Internet. The diagram below illustrates this type of configuration:
A more sophisticated small office or multiple PC home network will use a single PC to provide Internet access to all PCs on the network. This PC will contain a software product called a Proxy Server. This PC with its proxy server is the only PC on the LAN that needs to be connected to the Internet, and all other PCs on the LAN can access the Internet simultaneously through the server PC. In order for client PCs to access the Internet efficiently, the Proxy Server should have a high bandwidth connection. With a download capability of up to 400 Kbps, DirecPC is ideal for this purpose. The diagram below illustrates the use of DirecPC as a network solution:
Before installing any of the IPX or TCP/IP based network solution products mentioned here, you must have a functioning TCP/IP or IPX LAN. It is beyond the scope of this document to provide instructions on designing and installing a network, but there are many excellent references on this topic.
DirecPC, in conjunction with one of the several Proxy Server products described below, can provide Internet access to any PC on a network that supports TCP/IP. This includes platforms not supported by DirecPC Personal Edition, such as Macintosh or PowerPC compatible computers, and laptop computers. The DirecPC adapter, however, must be installed in an IBM compatible PC that adheres to the following standards:
DirecPC Network Edition
LAN connectivity is an important capability for many PC users. As such, DirecPC contracted with an outside party, Helius Inc. in July, 1996, to design a Proxy Server that is integrated with the DirecPC software and hardware to enable LAN connectivity. The first such combined product (i.e., Proxy Server and DirecPC software) was certified in July 1997 and operates with Novell Netware. The combined product is called DirecPC Network Edition for Netware. In addition, other companies without specific business relations with DirecPC have developed proxy software that works with Windows 95. See below for details on both systems.
Personal Edition users may network multiple PC's on the same LAN and connect to DirecPC. Under the Personal Edition plan, they may only operate one PC at a time.
To operate multiple PC's simultaneously, DirecPC Network pricing is available and is different from Personal Edition pricing. The Personal Edition service plan is designed for a single (i.e., Personal User) to receive high speed Internet access. Multiple PC users on a LAN will not receive this same high speed service without the network Edition Service plan. This plan has been tested for multiple users on the same DirecPC link.
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