Windows 98 includes a feature that enables you to use your computer to dial into a server to connect to remote networks, including the Internet. Windows 98's collective name for this feature is Dial-Up Networking. Windows 98 also includes a feature called Direct Cable Connection that enables you to connect PCs using serial or parallel cables to create a mini-network. With Direct Cable Connection you can network computers through their serial or parallel ports rather than through a network interface card (NIC). This chapter explains Dial-Up Networking and Direct Cable Connection, covering the following topics:
In addition to enabling you to connect to remote computers and LANs, a server module included with Windows 98 enables you to use your Windows 98 workstation as a Dial-Up Networking server. This enables other users to dial into the computer to gain access to your local resources or to your LAN.
Overview of Dial-Up Networking
The capability to dial into a remote computer or network to use the computer's or network's resources is called remote access. In Windows 98 and Windows NT, the capability to dial into a remote system or act as a dial-in server is generally termed remote access services, or RAS. The computer that dials in is called the RAS client. The computer that provides access is called the RAS server.
Windows 98 includes a RAS client that Microsoft has named Dial-Up Networking. You can use Dial-Up Networking to connect to a RAS server to gain access to the server's shared resources and gain access to the network to which the server is connected. If you have a RAS server connected to your office LAN, for example, you can dial into the server from your home or hotel and access the LAN as if you were sitting in your office with your computer connected directly to the LAN. You can use the dial-up connection to access directories and files, send mail, perform scheduling, and even print. You are limited only by the speed of the connection.
The Windows 98 RAS client also enables you to connect to the Internet through a dial-up Internet service provider. If your office LAN is connected to the Internet, you can dial into a RAS server at the office to access the Internet, provided the RAS server supports IP routing
To use the Dial-Up Networking client in Windows 98, you must have the following:
To use Windows 98 as a Dial-Up Networking server, you must have the Dial-Up Networking Server software, included on the Windows 98 CD.