Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Introduction To Windows Networking

What is Windows Networking?
The term networking covers a broad range of the topics and technologies. A computer network is segmented into different parts to share the data and resourced between the different computers of a network. Microsoft has released the operating systems that have the networking capabilities so Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista all are the network operating systems. 
All these operating systems have built inn capabilities of files and printer sharing, security, network administrative control, protocols support such as TCP/IP, NetBIOS, IPX/SPX and network hardware support.

Naming Computers
All computers in a Windows based network requires a unique name for their identification i.e. the name of the computer A cannot be assigned to the computer B and so on. Assign a meaningful computer name to all the computers and the name should be easy to remember.
All the names should be configured properly and ensure that the name is not longer than the 15 characters and they contain no spaces in them. Also try to avoid the special names while naming the computers such as / \ *,:,. To assign a computer name in Windows XP and Windows 2000 do the following things.
1. Right click on the My Computer.
2. Click Properties
3. Click on Computer name.
4. Assign a unique and meaningful computer name.

Naming Workgroup and Domains
A Windows based computer network can be a workgroup (Peer to Peer) or domain (client/server). You can make your computer a part of the workgroup or a domain. If you have centralized server then your computer will be part of the domain and if you have no server then all computers will be having peer to peer networking. In both cases, while joining your computer to a domain or a workgroup always assign unique, sequenced, memorable and meaningful names to the computers. Do not use duplicate names and the special characters such as / \ *,:,,. In order to join a computer to a domain or workgroup in Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional do the following.
1. Right Click on My Computer
2. Click Properties
3. Click on Computer Name
4. In Workgroup or domain, enter the name of the workgroup or domain.
If everything is correct such as unique computer name, unique IP address, correct workgroup or domain name then you computer will be the part of the workgroup or domain in the few seconds and you will be see a welcome to domain or workgroup message and will be prompted to restart the computer name.

Files Sharing
Being on network computer files and printer sharing is a must. To enable the files and folder sharing in Windows XP Professional 2000 and Windows 2000 do the following.
1. Right Click on the folder name you want to share.
2. Click on the properties.
3. Click Sharing.
4. Click on Share this computer on the network.
5. Assign a shared computer name.
You can set the sharing rights for the users and also control the shared folder access by allowing and denying permissions to specific users or groups. If you want to share the individual files, you can put the files in the same shared folder. All the files and folders in the parent shared folder will be automatically shared.

Network Cable Errors in Windows
If your computer network cable is not working properly, you will see a repeated message or pop up “network cable is unplugged” on your desktop and the blinking status lights of the network will also stop blinking. There can be many causes of this problem and you can fix this error with these simple tips. If you have another Ethernet adapter installed but not using it, then disable it by right clicking on the monitor icons on the right side of the desktop and select the disable option. Check both ends of the cables and ensure that the RJ 45 connectors are properly inserted in the LAN card and in the Hub/Switch. Update the drive of the LAN card from the vendor’s website and if the problem still exist then replace the cable with new one. If the problem is still not resolved then replace the LAN card with a new one and try to use a new hub or switch and put cable’s one end into it. By these simple steps, you will be able to trace out and troubleshoot the problem.

Introduction to Windows Firewall
Windows firewall is a protective layer or boundary that monitors the in and out traffic from your network and internet. The firewall is a protective and defensive boundary against the intruders and unauthorized persons. You can enable the firewall in XP Professional with these simple steps.
1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel
2. Windows Firewall > Double click.

Network Troubleshooting Tips
If you find a communication failure error in the TCP/IP network then try to find and troubleshoot the errors with the following methods.
1. Make sure you can ping the other computer by name.
2. Make sure you can pint the other computer by IP address.
3. Make sure you have assigned unique IP address and computer name to all the computers in the network.
4. Make sure you have assigned the correct gateway, subnet mask, DNS and DHCP addresses.
5. For troubleshooting purpose try to uninstall any firewall software and see if the problem is resolved.

Windows Network Security
Security a computer network should be the top priority of the network administrators, system managers and security specialists. You can secure your computer network by doing these things such as installing the updated operating system, up-to-date antivirus program, event log monitoring, encryption, group policy management, patch management, security scanners, auditing, firewall security, web application security, web content filtering and controlling the access to only the authorized users.

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