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Network Configurations Overview

A computer network can be configured and installed in different ways depending upon the requirements.  If you are responsible for managing your computer network, securing and ensuring the uptime then you need a precise solution for your devices configurations. A network can also be configured, managed and administered through the third party software such as DeviceExpert that can be used to manage the switches, routers, firewall and computers in your network. Each device in a network such as computer, printer, scanner, switch and router is known as a node.


If you manage a big network then it is very important to store the configurations of each node so that you can view, store and use the same configurations any time. In Windows XP Professional, you can store and maintain multiple configurations for your home and office networks. Different vendors provide different network configurators and management software. These software allow the network administrators to save and view the network settings.


Some of the best network configurator programs are D-Link Network Configurator, PE Network Configurator, Rapid Network Configurator and DeviceExpert. In this article we will learn that how to configure the multiple services such as DHCP, DNS and devices as routers and LAN card in an Ethernet network. The following information is mandatory for configuring a computer network.

  • Host Name of computers
  • IP Addresses of the computers.
  • Subnet Mask
  • Default gateway address
  • IP Address of the router
  • Domain Name
  • DNS Address
  • DHCP Address

Configuring LAN Card

In Windows XP Professional, you can configure your system’s LAN card by the following method.

Click Start > Control Panel > Double Click Network Connections > Right Click Local Area Connection.
In General click TCP/IP and click properties.

tcp/ip configurations

In the properties tab you can set the TCP/IP settings such as IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS etc.

You can repeat the above methods with all the LAN cards of your network.

Configuring Printer

A network printer can be installed, configured, shared and managed through the control panel of Windows XP Professional and other versions of the Windows.

Click Start > Control Panel > Double click Printer and Faxes
Right click your default printer and click properties.
Here you can share your printer, set the ports and printing priorities.

Configuring DHCP

DCHP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and is used for assigning the IP addresses to the client computers dynamically.  DHCP is installed in the Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2003 Server operating systems.  A DCHP is a dedicated server which assigns the IP address, subnet mask, gateway address, DNS, DHCP and router addresses to all the client computers.

After the DHCP is installed in the Windows 2003 Server, you need to configure it before you use it.

In the Administrative tools of Windows 2000/2003 Server click DHCP.

  • On the left side of your DHCP panel, you will see your server name with server’s IP address. 
  • Right click the name and click new scope.  A wizard will start click next and define your scope name and description.
  • In the IP addresses range, define the IP addresses pool and subnet mask and click next.  In the “Add Exclusion page” define the IP addresses, which you don’t want to assign to any computer after this click next. 
  • On the next windows set the lease duration for these IP addresses and click next. On the next windows check “Yes I want to configure these options now”.

After you have configured the scope, right click to activate it.  You can also set the router, DHCP, DNS, Wins server addresses.

Configuring DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name Server and is used for mapping the host name with the IP address. DNS is automatically installed while promoting the server as a domain controller.  DNS can also be configured to a separate machine.  After the DNS is installed, you need to configure it.

  • In the Administrative tools of the Windows 2000/2003 click DNS.
  • Right click on the root and select configure server and click next.
  • If there are no root servers in the list select the current server, which shows the message “This is the first DNS server on the network” and click next.
  • Add a forward look up zone and click next.  This zone will be used for mapping and storing the host name to the IP addresses.
  • Select the zone type as standard primary and click next.
  • Enter the name of the zone and click next.
  • Select new file and click next.  Here you can import an already existing .dns file.
  • Add a reverse look up zone and click next.  Reverse look up zone is used to find the host name from an IP address.
  • Select the zone type and standard primary and click next.
  • Enter first two (in case of and first three (in case of parts of your subnet mask.
  • Select new file and click next.
  • A summary will display click finish to complete the configuration.

The final stage is to configure the zones to be dynamic update enabled, it makes the host computers to add the records in the DNS server.

Configuring Router

A router is used to connect several logically and physically different networks with each other.  When a router is used for the first time it needs to be configured manually by the network administrators.

  • Start your browser and type the IP address of your router.
  • Router configuration page will be opened.
  • Enter your user and default password of the router.
  • You can configure firewall options, dynamic routing, static routing, DDNS, forwarding and filtering options.


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