Internet Connection Sharing or the ICS is a Microsoft Windows hardware service which can sometimes also be installed using only software. The motive of this service is crystal clear in the name itself, it is designed to set up an installation where one computer device's internet connection can be used by multiple computers over a Local Area Network or LAN.
Network Interface Controller (NIC) cards are used to connect the host computer or the Gateway computer to the LAN and other computers through it. Transportation Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is used as the major protocol and Network Address Translation (NAT) helps in mapping the IP address of the other computers on the host. Other than helping in mapping, NAT ensures security on your network from threats outside the network.
Another important protocols used in the service is Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). However, we may also be able to add laptops as well in case we’re using the softwares like WinGate or WinProxy, which may be the only alternatives to the ICS software.
Limitations Of Internet Connection Sharing:
1. Only one computer with an internet connection is needed to access the internet services on a large number of devices, a dual internet connection is of no use in the in this set up. It creates more trouble than convenience. You would think that a dual connection will ensure a high speed connection and data would load and transmit faster but it’s quite opposite of that. A dual internet connection is totally incompatible with the ICS, be it set up with hardware or software.
2. When the NIC cards are installed on the LAN modem and the gateway device, the latter becomes a channel through which all the data packets will be received and transmitted. There’s also no other way for the traffic of all the devices and LAN to pass but through the gateway device. Only one computer is able to handle the responsibility of traffic and data packets transmission and that makes it workload even greater than we first imagined. Therefore, it would be wise to not use ICs services on a larger and high traffic Local Area Networks.
3. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used without any difficulty by the ICS but it is unable to review the lease lines by which two locations are connected for communication. Not being able to review its' own system is a major drawback in every sense and poses a security concern.
4. Using NIC cards also make ICS incompatible with cables.