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Cannot connect without router.

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My brother and I are having the same probelm thousands of miles apart. He recently trashed one of his computers and now has only one. He just left the wireless router (Linksys-G) as is for extra security. Now we want to play some games together online and rather than bother with opening ports I told him just to remove the router and go straight from the modem to the PC. When he does that he gets the dreaded "limited or no connectivity" error. Then I did the exact same thing on my pc (same router) thinking he must have messed something up and I have the same problem. I unplugged the modem and restarted the pc numerous times and tried releasing and renewing my ip. It would release but not renew. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Since we are both having the same problem I assume it is rather common but I couldn't find anything here or elsewhere and calling my isp is useless.
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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what make and model is the modem? how is it connected to the pc?
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