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Best practices for TCP/IP

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Best practices

  • If your network does not already use TCP/IP, develop a comprehensive IP addressing plan for your network.

    You need to know the following information to help make a workable plan:

    1. How many physically separate network segments are contained within your network?

    2. How many host systems on each network segment will use TCP/IP?

    3. Will your network be connected to the Internet?

    • If so, will your network be directly connected to the Internet by using a router (which uses public addresses allocated by your Internet service provider), or will your network be indirectly connected to the Internet by using network address translation (NAT) or an application layer gateway such as a proxy server (which uses private addresses)?

    • If not, then it is technically possible to use any IP addressing scheme. However, it is highly recommended that you use private addresses so that an eventual connection to the Internet does not force you to renumber your network.

For more information about connecting a home or small office network to the Internet, see Internet Connection Sharing and network address translation.

  • If you are using private IP addressing, use addresses from the private address ranges reserved by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

    For more information, see Numbering your network.

  • Configure a default gateway on only one network adapter.

    This practice reduces confusion and assures the results you intended. For information about configuring multiple gateways, see Default gateways.

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