Using ICS Internet Connection Sharing with ESET Firewall

Discussion in 'ESET Smart Security' started by bkisc, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. bkisc

    bkisc Registered Member

    Oct 20, 2010

    I hope it helps those who somehow end up getting frustated because microsoft thinks it knows best on how they should be using windows and the software bundled with it. I just chanced upon it while doing some search. Could not find this solution with Google so putting it here for others benefit.

    Like always, you should know a little bit more than an average computer user about windows, know how to use system restore and create a restore point before attempting this. Even though the steps described are totally harmless as they don't change or manipulate any code or program, it is always good be on the safer side.

    My OS config is Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with ESET Smart Security 4, I also have a small netbook (acer AOD250). my main computer is connected to the internet ( for the time being I'm using a USB wireless dongle, gives me 3.1 mbps which is descent enough for my usage ) and I connect my netbook using Adhoc Wifi to the main computer for internet access and networking to sync files etc. using SyncBackSE (Excellent Software). What I'm writing down is the way I got it working on my setup, yours might be different or require a bit extra tweaking here and there.

    before we start, disable the firewall on all your computers and devices you wish to connect through ICS for internet, including the main computer ICS will run on, this is just temporary to get everything between windows PCs working otherwise Firewall can poke itself in between and hamper setup. Disconnect from the internet before disabling the firewalls. This should be done through the software itself and NOT services control panel.

    On the main computer running the ICS, goto Administrative Tools -> Services or Computer Management -> Services, you'll see ICS and Windows Firewall services but they would not be runnning since they both need each other (by default, we'll change that) and would have been disabled when you install third party firewall like ESET etc.

    Now on the network adapter connecting your main computer with internet access to the bunch of other computer like netbooks, mobile phones etc. with Wifi or LAN or whatever, you’ll have to put in the IP address, unfortunately this is a limitation by ICS and I can’t do anything my side. Now this means basically is that your network must now use IP address for ICS to work, but not to despair, you can use upto 254 devices on that IP, good for a small network.

    Setup the network, on other devices, including computers, netbooks, smartphones etc. configure them each to “acquire a IP address automatically”, since ICS assigns the addresses to all the devices, this is one reason nothing is lost and no extra hard work is required.

    Start the Windows Firewall and then Internet Connection Sharing using services control panel. Next Select the Network adapter on the main computer which is the connection to the internet, right click -> properties -> sharing tab, select “Allow other network users to connect through this computers internet connection”

    Click OK, now ICS configures everything including Windows Firewall for internet sharing, Windows Firewall must be running otherwise ICS will quit with an error.

    Once this is done, goto services and Shutdown Windows Firewall service, leave ICS service running, herein comes the next step which is risky but needs to be done to make sure everything is okay. Connect your main computer to the internet. Then connect all other computers to the network. You’ll see them acquiring IP address with from ICS on main computer. Check every computer on the network has internet access. Then disconnect the internet from the main computer.

    Now re-enable your third party firewall on main computer connecting to internet, leave the other computers firewall disabled for the time being. Configure your firewall so it doesn’t block internet traffic to your network. This you need to figure out but for me in ESET, I had to make my network with IP as a trusted zone. Once your third party firewall is configured. You’re all set to go, re-enable and configure one by one your third party firewalls on your other computers on the network. Mobile phones and other devices should connect without any further problems through your main computer.

    Main points to remember:

    You can anytime disable Internet Connection Sharing by Shutting down the service itself. Also remove the IP from the adapter on the main computer to connect to other networks, just type it back in when starting ICS service. Windows Firewall needs to be started ONLY when you change your Internet Connection adapter that has to be shared otherwise start just the ICS service if that adapter is the same.

    So basically when you do this first time, it needs some time and work, on subsequent requirements for ICS, lets say for Wifi, it's just 2-3 steps in a minute: Set the IP to on the WiFi Adaptor, Start ICS service and connect other devices to your Adhoc WiFi network on main computer with internet connection active. That's it folks ...

    Hope this helps ...

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