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Best Practices for Administering Network and Sharing Center

Updated: October 14, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 7

The following best practices simplify operations and ease administration of the network connections on your computer:

  • If you are an administrator, do not give other users network access until you have turned off the Network Location Wizard either for your network, or for a specific user, by creating a new registry entry.

    Standard users cannot change the network location. Unless your network is part of a domain, the default setting for your network is Public location. If your network is not part of a domain, the Public location setting is recommended.

    For more information, see Start Network and Sharing Center.

  • When using multiple network adapters, rename each local area network connection.

    Windows detects network adapters and automatically creates a local area connection in the Network Connections folder for each network adapter. If more than one network adapter is installed, you can eliminate possible confusion by immediately renaming each local area connection to reflect the network to which it connects.

    For more information, see Rename a network connection.

  • Verify required connection settings for your network adapter.

    If your network administrator or Internet service provider (ISP) requires static settings, you might need one or more of the following:

    • A specific IPv4 or IPv6 address.

    • One or more Domain Name Service (DNS) addresses.

    • A DNS domain name.

    • A default gateway address.

    • One or more Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) addresses (for IPv4 networks only).

    Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is enabled by default. This gets your IP address and other configuration information automatically from a service on your network. Automated IP settings are used for all connections, and they eliminate the need to configure settings such as DNS, WINS, and so on.

    For more information about enabling DHCP, see Configure TCP/IP settings.

  • Create dial-up, VPN, or broadband connections by using the Set up a Connection or Network page.

    After you create a connection, you can copy the connections, rename them and modify the connection settings. By doing so, you can easily create different connections to accommodate multiple modems, ISPs, dialing profiles, and so on.

    For more information, see Create a copy of a network connection.

  • Specify the order in which network providers and protocols are accessed.

    By changing the order of protocols bound to network providers, you can improve performance. On many networks, you will use only TCP/IPv4. However, as you introduce TCP/IPv6 to your network, you can move Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) to the top of the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks and the Client for Microsoft Networks bindings on the Adapters and Bindings tab.

    For more information about modifying the order of protocol bindings, see Modify the protocol bindings and network provider order.

  • Only install and enable the network protocols that you need.

    Limiting the number of protocols on your computer enhances its performance and reduces network traffic. Other protocols might be available to you. Install only those required for your computer to communicate with the hosts you need.

    If your computer encounters a problem with a network or dial-up connection, it attempts to establish connectivity by using every network protocol that is installed and enabled. By only installing and enabling the protocols that your computer can use, the operating system does not attempt to connect with protocols it cannot use, and returns status information to you more efficiently.

    For more information, see Enable or disable a network protocol or component.

  • If Windows does not support your modem make and model, check the manufacturer's Web site for the latest installation or .inf file.

    The installation files, particularly for new modems, are often added or updated by manufacturers. If you cannot find your modem listed in Windows, look in the manufacturer's documentation to determine whether the modem has the same characteristics as another supported modem.

  • Before you connect to another computer or online service provider, check the hardware settings for your modem.

    The data connection parameters for two modems need to be identical for them to connect successfully. Refer to the documentation provided by your service provider for the correct settings. Typical settings are:

    • Data bits: 8

    • Parity: None

    • Stop bit: 1

    Most service providers use these settings. If these do not work, try seven data bits, even parity, and one stop bit. A few online service providers use these settings. Other settings are extremely rare.

See Also

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