NAT with 2 NICs

March 14, 2009 at 07:57:10
Specs: Windows Server 2003
I have a small network of 6 PCs running XP SP3 and a server running Server 2003 SP2. I need to have a file server, user management (so domain based configuration) with Internet access in all clients.

My ISP gives me a direct ethernet cable based connection with a fixed IP address, only through which I can access the Internet.

This means that I cannot connect the Internet connection to the switch.

Following are the details:
Internet Connection:
Default Gateway:
(I need to log on with a password either using http interface or a software)

My computer vendor tried with ICS but knew ICs cannot work on a domabin-based configuration I tried NAT myself, but I cannot get it working properly.

What is the best way to configure this network? If possible I prefer not to install additional router, but I can if it can provide a robust and secure system.

See More: NAT with 2 NICs

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March 14, 2009 at 08:08:58
Best way it to buy a router although i think you can use a proxy server on the PC with the internet connection and run the other pcs through the proxy lthough i've never done this and don't know how you configure it.

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March 14, 2009 at 08:09:39
A router is the correct and only way you are going to share a single IP address among six other computers.

A router will provide some degree of security as it will act as a firewall between your network and the Internet. It is never a good idea to connect a domain server directly to the Internet, thats just asking for trouble.


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March 14, 2009 at 08:14:29
But for the time being, can't I use NAT? Many people use ICS but I cannot since I need domain-based system.

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Related Solutions

March 14, 2009 at 09:38:09
NAT, ( Network Address Translation) is part of ICS. It's basically what Internet connection sharing is. If you cant use ICS you have no choice but to use a router. Dont get confused with DHCP which is a different thing altogether which you can use without ICS.

Cant see what the problem is. A router in the mix is an advantage, not a disadvantage.


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March 14, 2009 at 10:10:09
Basically I don't prefer a router because of my relatively smaller needs. I cannot use ICS because I need DC. Plus, if server 2003 provides NAT, and NAT can share an IP with multiple pcs, then it should be possible.

What I need to know is the correct config for NAT + DC....

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March 14, 2009 at 10:18:12
What do you mean smaller needs. I have two PCs and a laptop and I use a router. They are designed for home networks and you cannot get much smaller than that.

If you must use the server as a NAT server then read this:

As I said before, connecting a sever directly to the Internet is not a good idea.


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March 15, 2009 at 03:39:53
Thanks, what I wanted to see was if Server 2K3 CAN, then it SHOULD. But one full day is gone and I haven't been able to configure it to run smoothly... so I think I'll go for a router...

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March 15, 2009 at 06:37:25
Thanks, what I wanted to see was if Server 2K3 CAN

Windows 2003 can you just have to know how to do it.

I would use RRAS with NAT enabled on 2003 server before I would every use ICS. ICS is at best, the stupid little brother of RRAS/NAT.


A SOHO router is beyond doubt what you need. They are cheap, usually around $40-$50 US and they provide a firewall, NAT, and DHCP.

Using RRAS/NAT on a 2003 server takes some knowledge and training. Using a SOHO router only takes the ability to read the setup guide and plug the cables in correctly. They were made for people like you and made to be as easy to use as possible. I'm sure if you do buy one, you won't regret doing it.

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