Connecting a PC on home network to the internet -- does it expose all computers?


Stan Hilliard

I have four computers on a peer-to-peer home network. When I connect
one to the Internet does that expose all four computers? If so, is
there a software switch to conveniently "disconnect" that PC from the
other three PCs while on-line?

Router: Netgear WNR2000

PC: Desktop, Windows XP-Pro, cabled, Lavasoft Firewall, F-Prot
PC: Desktop, Windows 98SE, cabled, Sygate Personal Firewall
PC: Laptop, Windows XP-Home, wireless, Windows firewall, F-Prot
PC: Laptop, Windows 7, wireless, Mcafee

I will appreciate suggestions,
Stan Hilliard

Stan Hilliard

What do you mean when you connect one to the internet? Looking at your setup
ALL computers are connected to the internet, opening a web browser just
utilizes the already existing connection.

Yes, but I am not worried -- maybe I should be -- about the computers
being open directly to the router because they all have firewalls.

But I am more concerned about picking up a virus off a website browsed
with IE or Firefox while the networked computers have folders shared
with that computer. (I do use the NoScript Firefox add-on.)

So I am wondering if there is a way to limit a possible virus to the
browsing computer by closing the connection to the shared folders on
other computers of the home network. So when I browse the Internet I
would first close the path to the other three computers. Is there a
convenient way to do that?

Stan Hilliard

Jack [MVP-Networking]

The idea of using Router is to separate the Internet and your Private LAN.
None of your computer is exposed to the Internet (unless you deliberately
open its port toward the internet).
When one computer send signal to the Internet, it comes back only to the
sending computer. That is what Routing means, the Router Routes the signal
only to the correct computer.
Maybe this can further Help,
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).


NET STOP SERVER issues at a command prompt will stop other PCS accessing
shared data.

But - I dont see this being of much value. If a computer gets infected with
a LAN-aware virus it will try to attack the others when connectivity is

The important points are:

Don't share whole disks or program folders. Only share data.
Use a secure browser, NOT IE5/6 in particular.
Minimize your use of plugins (Flash, etc) and keep the installed ones updated.
Do your browsing as a limited user (not possible on Win98)
Disable CD/USB autorun as it's an increasingly-common way for viruses to
Optionally, impose a software-restriction policy to prevent
temporary/downloaded files being executed. (not 98)

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question