Hello... first post. Apologies if this has been spelled out before, although I haven't yet found the answer by searching forums. Sorry for the length but I wanted to make sure its all clear.
I'll start with the current setup:
I have a desktop PC running Windows 2000 Professional, with two PCI network cards installed: A wired ethernet adaptor, and an 802.11b wireless network adaptor card. The stock antenna of the wireless card has been replaced with an external 15dbi antenna which is positioned to pick up the wireless signal from my neighbor's house (we share the connection as well as its fee). In Network and Internet Connections, this particular connection is called "Internet Connection". I'll call the neighbor's wifi network "NeighborHouse".
The situation, part 1:
Because the source of the signal is far out of range for my laptops with built-in wifi at home, I needed a way to repeat that signal in order for the laptops to connect to the internet. I did this by creating a new second network, feeding off the first, by following these steps: On the PC above, I turned on Internet Connection Sharing for "Internet Connection" in Network and Internet Connections. I proceeded to enter a static IP address of 192.168.0.1 for the ethernet adaptor ("Local Area Connection"). Next, using the browser configuration utility of a D-Link DI-524 wireless router, I changed the router's default IP address to 192.168.1.1, because its default address of 192.168.0.1 would conflict with the static IP of the ICS network connections mentioned above. After following these steps, I successfully completed the creation of a new, separate wireless network in my own home, using my neighbor's originating signal. I'll call this new wireless network "Home".
I have an Airport Express Base Station in a different room on the other side of my house, and it's connected to a stereo and a USB printer. If the Airport Express was configured to create its own network, I would have to disconnect my laptops from the Home network and reconnect them to the Airport network in order to stream AirTunes via iTunes, or print wirelessly through the Airport Express. The solution was to instead configure the Airport Express (via its configuration utility) to be a client of the Home network. As a result, my laptops can be connected to the internet via the Home network, meanwhile having uninterrupted access to the Airport Express print and audio functions.
The desktop PC running Internet Connection Sharing is also the home of the external hard drives containing my music collection. While some of those MP3s are on my laptops, and while I can always connect my laptops temporarily to those external hard drives to access and copy those files, the vast majority of the music library remains stationary on those hard drives, connected to that desktop PC.
My desktop PC is perpetually connected to the "NeighborHouse" network. In order for my desktop PC to access the Airport Express functions (particularly to stream AirTunes from my music library to the Airport Express to the connected stereo on the other side of my house), I have to disconnect the desktop PC from NeighborHouse and reconnect the PC's Internet Connection to the Home network. Once this is accomplished, my desktop PC has access to the Airport Express functions, and that works just fine. However, as soon as I make that switch from NeighborHouse to Home, the Internet Connection Sharing setting on the PC is rendered useless, as the originating source signal is no longer connected to my PC. As a result, I rarely make the switch on my desktop PC from NeighborHouse to Home, because it then severs my internet connection.
I'm now trying to figure out how to remedy this situation. If I were to install a second wireless network adaptor in the desktop PC, is there a way that I could maintain the entire setup I described above, while simultaneously connecting the second wireless network adaptor to the Home network? In this scenario, the desktop PC would remain connected to the neighbor's internet source signal, continue to send that signal via ICS through the D-Link router's WAN port, and continue to provide the laptops access to the internet via the Home network as a result. Meanwhile, the desktop PC, via its second network adaptor and a newly created Local Area Connection, would be simultaneously connected as a client to the Home network, and thus have access to the Airport Express functions.
If anyone has any opinions on whether this would work, what I would need to do to make it work, or specific issues that I would need to consider and changes to the setup I would need to make, etc, I would love to hear them. Thanks!