TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: MacTech Online

MacTech Online

by Jeff Clites <online@mactech.com>

Last month we started looking into some resources that can help you in setting up a small network, such as a home network to connect a few computers and printers. We found out that you can often cut your expenses by using an old Macintosh in place of new dedicated hardware, in this case to let you network a non-network printer, or expose a LocalTalk printer to an Ethernet network. Not only did we save some cash by using an old Mac, but also we made it possible to print from Mac OS X Server on a Blue and White G3, despite the limited connectivity options that platform currently supports. This month we're going to see how to use a single IP address to connect multiple machines to the outside world, again using an older Mac to do the real work.

Learning to Share: Network Address Translation

It's a pretty common problem - you only have one IP address available, but now you have more than one computer. So, you have to decide which one gets to use the modem, DSL line, or cable modem, or else you end up switching off and having to do a lot of plugging and unplugging of cables. Although it seems as though it shouldn't be possible, you actually can let all of your computers access the outside world at once through this single public IP address, thanks to a protocol known as Network Address Translation (NAT). In a nutshell, you assign arbitrary "private" IP addresses to the machines on your local network, and all communication to the outside world goes through a gateway machine (which can be a computer or a dedicated hardware device), which translates the source address in the header of the outgoing packets to your single public IP address, and it makes a note of this. Then, it reverses the process on incoming reply packets, so that they arrive at the proper local machine.

NAT is a capability built into most firewall products, and there are hardware devices which can act essentially as black boxes and do NAT for you, such as SonicWALL, BeadleNet's firewall routers, and Macsense's XRouter. These devices tend to be simple to set up and use, but are overkill if you just want to share an IP address - they are designed to do much more than just NAT, and their prices reflect this. A software-based approach is more economical, and it continues my theme of taking advantage of your legacy Macs. Both Vicomsoft and Sustainable Softworks have software solutions which perform NAT. Vicomsoft has several different products which include this along with their other functionality, but I chose IPNetRouter from Sustainable Softworks: there is no limit imposed on the number of computers you can connect through a single gateway, and it is low-cost (it is priced at $89), in part because it is simpler and a little more do-it-yourself. Also, there is a 50% educational discount available. I'm going to focus on IPNetRouter here, but you may want to check out the competition (both software- and hardware-based) for yourself.

SonicWALL
<http://www.sonicwall.com/>
BeadleNet
<http://www.beadlenet.com/>
Macsense XRouter
<http://www.macsensetech.com/Product/mih120.html>
Vicomsoft
<http://www.vicomsoft.com/>
Sustainable Softworks
<http://www.sustworks.com/>

Although IPNetRouter can seem a bit cryptic at first, if you just want to do NAT there are clear instructions on the company's web site, and you'll be up and running in just a few minutes. Your gateway machine can use either one or two Ethernet cards, and there are instructions on how to set up either configuration. The two-card setup is conceptually easier to understand, and offers a bit more security: one card connects to your local network and the other connects to the outside, so no information about your internal network configuration can leak to the outside world without going through IPNetRouter. Ethernet cards are cheap, so you may want to opt for this setup.

Getting Started with IPNetRouter
<http://www.sustworks.com/products/ipnr/gettingstarted/Guide.html>

This brings up another benefit of NAT: your gateway machine acts in part as a firewall, hiding your internal network from the outside world. In fact, from the outside it will appear as though there is only a single computer involved. This, in itself, makes it difficult to break into your internal computers; your private LAN can access the public internet, but not the other way around. If you want to go a little further and add some additional security measures, Sustainable Softworks has a page entitled Building Your Own Low Cost Firewall which will help you set up IPNetRouter for this. Finally, you can do almost the opposite, and "punch a hole" in your configuration to allow, for instance, a web server to operate from inside of your network. To do this, you set up IPNetRouter to do inbound port mapping, which routes all traffic destined for a particular port at your public IP address to a particular port on a particular machine on your internal network. This allows machines on the public internet to initiate connections to your internal web server; they think they are connecting to, say, port 80 of your gateway machine, but really they are being served web pages from port 80 (or another port of your choosing) of in internal machine. You'll probably need to do similar port mapping to use the QuickTime Streaming Server (but client machines can receive streaming QuickTime 4 content without any special configuration - support for this is built-in).

Building Your Own Low Cost Firewall
<http://www.sustworks.com/products/ipnr/gettingstarted/firewall.html>
Port Mapping
<http://www.sustworks.com/products/ipnr/gettingstarted/port_mapping.html>

So, for less than $90 I can connect multiple computers to the internet, and set up firewall protection for a web server. That's not bad, and best of all, it's fast. In my home setup, I'm using a PowerMac 7500/150 as my gateway, and there's no noticeable slowdown compared to when my internal Mac is connected directly to my DSL line. Part of the reason that IPNetRouter is fast is that it is Open Transport native (in fact, most of its capabilities are built into Open Transport already, and IPNetRouter just provides a way to configure them). But you also have to remember that this isn't a computationally intensive task - I believe that Cisco routers still use 68K-based processors. So even an old 68K Mac should give pretty good performance.

The pages mentioned above do a pretty good job of introducing you to concepts such as NAT, firewalls, and port mapping. You can get some more information on NAT from the KnowledgeShare section of Vicomsoft's site, or you can go directly to the RFCs and get the details.

Vicomsoft KnowledgeShare: Network Address Translation
<http://www.vicomsoft.com/knowledge/reference/nat.html>
RFC1631 - The IP Network Address Translator (NAT)
<http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1631.html>
RFC2663 - IP Network Address Translator (NAT) Terminology and Considerations
<http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2663.html>

So, again we've found a strategy that lets us use a spare Macintosh to save us the expense of buying new hardware to set up our network, adding IP sharing to our bag of tricks to go along with the printer sharing techniques we learned last month. Also, we've again solved a problem that developers will be especially likely to face: even if you plan to use only a single computer, if you are using Mac OS X Server then you currently need a second IP address in order to access the internet from the Blue Box. With a NAT setup this is no longer a problem, and you can use last month's printing trick at the same time by running Apple's LocalTalk Bridge on your gateway along with IPNetRouter - they seem to play well together.

As a final note, when you run into snags you should check out the Three Macs and a Printer web site, which contains a wealth of information about setting up a small network, and explains everything in simple terms. It covers many topics that I have not been able to touch upon, and it has recently settled in to its very own domain.

Three Macs & a Printer
<http://www.threemacs.com/network/index.html>

When you get tired of connecting everything together, take a gander at the other links available from the MacTech Online web pages at <www.mactech.com/online/>.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoOffice 2014.6 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Galaxy Trucker Pocket (Games)
Galaxy Trucker Pocket 1.0.8 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.8 (iTunes) Description: Galaxy Truckers Wanted!================================================================= (5/5) "Galaxy Trucker isn’t... | Read more »
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Holiday sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
 Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Best Buy has lowered their price on the 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro to $1149.99 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $150 off MSRP and the lowest price available for this... Read more
Kodak Returns to CES With New Consumer Produ...
Former photography colossus Kodak is returning to CES for the first time in three years where the Kodak booth (#21818 South Hall 1) will showcase a wide range of innovative, imaging-related products... Read more
Invaluable Launches New Eponymously -Named A...
Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace, hhas announced the official launch of the Invaluable app for iPad, now available for download in the iTunes App Store. Invaluable... Read more
IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Appli...
International Data Corporation (IDC) last week hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions 2015 Predictions Web conference. The session provided organizations... Read more
Hello Vino Wine App Launches “Safe Ride Home”...
Hello Vino has announced addition of a new “Get a Safe Ride Home” feature in its Food & Drink app with a direct connection to Uber, the technology platform that connects users with rides. The... Read more
DEVON-technologies Releases DEVONthink To Go...
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based DEVON-technologies, LLC has updated DEVONthink To Go, its mobile companion to DEVONthink, to version 1.5. The update includes an iOS 8 extension, compatibility with the... Read more
The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
OtterBox Defender Series Case For iPad mini 3...
With their innovative Touch ID technology and ultrathin profile, the latest tranche of Apple iPads are more desirable than ever, and OtterBox has just announced the Defender Series custom-engineered... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.