If your Internet service is configured under Dialup Networking / Remote Access Services, you have PPP compatible dialup Internet service. If this is true, you can still surf the internet with the convenience and safety of an NAT router. ICS is OK, but you can do better.
There are a number of NAT routers - both wired and wireless - that will provide a dialup Internet connection. Here's a list of examples, currently available.
- Netgear FVS338 (wired)
- Netgear FWG114P (wireless)
- SMC SMC7004ABR (wired)
- SMC SMC7004AWBR (wireless)
- USR USR8000A (wired)
- USR USR8022 (wireless)
You connect the router to a full featured, external, serial dialup modem of your choice. As some have discovered, neither a USB modem, nor a WinModem, will work with these routers.
The Creative Modem Blaster is one possible product, which you may be able to buy in either CompUSA or in Walmart (depending upon what you have available), that may work for you. Use this as an example - I'm sure the local computer store in your neighborhood has something just as good.
If you are, or are thinking about, using ICS to share your connection, you have to have an Ethernet card in the computer.
If you have a standalone computer, you still can, and you should, use a router for protection. You will have to install an Ethernet card, if you don't have one already, to connect your computer to the router. You can get a quality card for $15 at Walmart, for instance.
You connect the Ethernet card to the router (using an Ethernet patch cable), you connect the router to the modem (using a RS-232 serial cable), and you connect the modem to your phone service (using an RJ-11 phone cable). It's a 5 minute job, when you're used to it.
If you have broadband, and are setting up dialup service as a backup, you connect a second Ethernet patch cable from the router WAN port to the broadband modem. That's another 30 seconds.
And if you want a WiFi LAN, but don't care for the WiFi features of either of the 3 choices above, get one of the wired routers listed above, and get any standard (Ethernet WAN) WiFi router, or access point, that you like. You can setup any WiFi router as an access point, with either one of the three above wired routers providing the dial-up Internet service.
The bottom line? Whether you have one computer, two computers, or more, and you have PPP-compatible dialup Internet service, or Ethernet compatible broadband Internet service, you can (should) connect thru a router, for layered security.