If you do not logon, your PC will not be networked. The following requirements must be met to browse the Network Neighborhood/My Network Places--share files and printers (seems like a broken record…):
1. You must have at least one of the NetBIOS protocols installed. The NetBIOS protocols are: NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP. If TCP/IP does not work by itself, go to Start, Setting, Control Panel, Network, select the instance of TCP/IP bound to the network adapter for your local network, Properties, Bindings and be sure the Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing check boxes are checked. They should not be checked for any network adapters used to connect to the Internet.
2. You must login to Windows or the Microsoft Client for Windows.
3. A unique computer name must be specified in Network configuration
4. The workgroup name must be specified in Network configuration and should be the same as the other workstations.
5. File and Print Sharing must be installed to see yourself in Network Neighborhood
If File and Print Sharing is not listed in Network Configuration on other peers/workstations then you will not be able to view that machine in Network Neighborhood.
6. If the above requirements have been met, disable or enable Browse Masters. A computer that is infrequently used should not be a Browse Master. There must be at least one Browse Master.
See http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/network/net2pc/intro.htm for installation details and for instructions on sharing files and printers. Also, Windows help is useful.
See http://duxcw.com/faq/network/logdomain.htm for automating the login, except omit the domain stuff.
NATs, such as the Win 98SE/Me ICS NAT, are pretty good firewalls. You can test it at Shields Up (http://grc.com/x/ne.dll?rh1ck2l2). I would like to know what you find-out there. I haven’t had time enough to try it with ICS.
“1. Does ZoneAlarm 2.0 support Internet Connection Sharing or NAT Router software?
ZoneAlarm does work with ICS that runs on the same computer. These include Internet Connection Sharing on Windows 98SE and Windows 2000 as well as proxy software. ZoneAlarm installed on a computer with NAT software does not work; ZoneAlarm works perfectly well on computers using NAT addresses.
If you install ZoneAlarm on the ICS computer, set the Security level to medium. ZoneAlarm will still provide application control to the computer running ICS, but not protect the network. You can then install ZoneAlarm on the other computers and all the features will work properly. Alternatively you can add your computers IP addresses to the trusted local Zone on the ICS machine, and leave the local security level to medium or low, and it should work fine.”
Zone Alarm Pro now has an Internet Sharing capability. SyGate (http://duxcw.com/digest/Reviews/Network/sygate/sygate.htm), which I have used, also does both.
If you want a better way to share the Internet and a very good firewall at the same time, try a hardware Internet sharing device, such as the SMC Barricade router (http://duxcw.com/digest/Reviews/Network/smc/smc7004br/smc7004br.htm).