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SyGate Internet Sharing Software
Last updated: 10/27/99

INTRODUCTION.  Sybergen Networks' SyGate Internet Connection Management Software is the best means of sharing an Internet connection I've seen to date...

SyGate is one way to connect your Local Area Network (LAN) to the Internet via a shared Internet connection.  A Win 9X or NT computer configured as a SyGate Server, provides a LAN to Wide Area Network (WAN) gateway to the Internet for computers on the LAN.  SyGate uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to map LAN Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to Internet IP addresses and vice versa.  It has a built-in Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and a Domain Name Server (DNS) forwarding capability which together manage IP addresses and Internet name resolution requests (translates names of computers on the Internet to IP addresses) for client computers on the LAN.  Furthermore, SyGate has a built-in security Firewall which not only protects the PC's on the LAN from intrusion from the Internet, but, with Enhanced Security enabled, protects the PC running the SyGate Server as well.

BACKGROUND.  In the past, we tried other ways to share an Internet connection and investigated still others.

Quite sometime ago I gave WinGate a shot and spent a frustrating afternoon filled with Windows error messages, etc.  That project was set aside and has not been revisited.

Intel's AnyPoint Home Network was tested and reviewed.  It uses existing telephone wiring and works fine in a peer-to-peer home network environment, but it will not work at all in a Windows NT Domain and is quite slow at 1 Mhz.

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) capabilities of Windows 98 SE worked OK with two PCs on a peer-to-peer network, but it didn't fit very well with the static IP addresses assigned to our NT file server and virtual intranet web servers, etc.  Besides, what we really wanted was a simple and inexpensive way to connect to the Internet via our file server.  The server is always on and is not usually subject to the normal routine of reboots and crashes found with computers used to test new products and troubleshoot other computers.

Microsoft's Proxy Server was considered, but it is very expensive and was deemed too complicated and overkill for a small network.

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