In most homes with an Internet connection linked to a single computer, the walls reverberate with amazingly similar cries. See if these sound familiar: “Mom, tell Billy to get out of the chat rooms and let me have the computer for my homework research,” or “I have to check my email for an important message, so disconnect right now.” Families try to make schedules for Internet access, but they rarely work, and the yelling continues.
Sharing an Internet connection is a way to avoid family squabbles, expensive family therapy, frayed nerves, and a host of unsettling household disturbances. In this chapter I’ll go over some of the setup annoyances you might face, especially as you add computers and connection types to your network. I’ll also cover the configuration annoyances you encounter as you try to match your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) settings with your network’s settings.
I can’t find anything on my ISP’s web site that says I can have multiple users signed in at the same time. They don’t address the issue at all.
Except for AOL, you can almost certainly take it for granted that you can share your Internet connection. All of the ISPs I’m familiar with (except, as I’ve said, AOL) permit multiple users to have simultaneous access. (See the AOL annoyances later in this chapter.)