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Managing Network Connections

Local area connections make it possible for computers to access resources on the network and the internet. One local area connection is created automatically for each network adapter installed on a computer. This section examines techniques you can use to manage these connections.

Checking the status, speed, and activity for local area connections

To check the status of a local area connection, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network. In Network Explorer, click Network and Sharing Center on the toolbar.
  2. In Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections. In Network Connections, right-click the connection you want to work with and then click Status.
  3. This displays the Local Area Connection Status dialog box. If the connection is disabled or the media is unplugged, you won't be able to access this dialog box. Enable the connection or connect the network cable to resolve the problem and then try to display the Status dialog box again.

The General tab of this dialog box, shown in Figure 21-5, provides useful information regarding the following:

  • IPv4 connectivity the current IPv4 connection state and type. You'll typically see the status as local when connected to an internal network or not connected when not connected to a network.
  • IPv6 connectivity the current IPv6 connection state and type. You'll typically see the status as local when connected to an internal network or not connected when not connected to a network.
  • Media state the state of the media. Because the Status dialog box is available only when the connection is enabled, you'll typically see this as enabled.
  • Duration the amount of time the connection has been established. If the duration is fairly short, the user either recently connected to the network or the connection was recently reset.
  • Speed the speed of the connection. This should read 10.0 megabits per second (mbps) for 10-mbps connections, 100.0 mbps for 100-mbps connections, and 1?gigabit per second (gbps) for 1-gigabit connections. An incorrect setting can affect the computer's performance.
  • Bytes the number of bytes sent and the number received by the connection. As the computer sends or receives packets, you'll see the computer icons light up to indicate the flow of traffic.

Dd163571.figure_c21624382_5(en-us,TechNet.10).png

Figure 21-5 the General tab of the Local Area Connection Status dialog box provides access to summary information regarding connections, properties, and support.

Viewing network configuration information

In Windows Server 2008, you can view the current configuration for network adapters in several ways. To view configuration settings using the Local Area Connection Status dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network. In Network Explorer, click Network and Sharing Center on the toolbar.
  2. In Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections. In Network Connections, right-click the connection you want to work with and then click Status. This displays the Local Area Connection Status dialog box. If the connection is disabled or the media is unplugged, you won't be able to access this dialog box. Enable the connection or connect the network cable to resolve the problem and then try to display the Status dialog box again.
  3. Click Details to view detailed information about the IP address configuration, including:
    • Physical address the machine or media access control (mac) address of the network adapter. This address is unique for each network adapter.
    • IPv4 IP address the IPv4 address assigned for IPv4 networking.
    • IPv4 subnet mask the subnet mask used for IPv4 networking.
    • IPv4 default gateways the IPv4 address of the default gateways used for IPv4 networking.
    • IPv4 DNS servers IP addresses for DNS servers used with IPv4 networking.
    • IPv4 WINS servers IP addresses for WINS servers used with IPv4 networking.
    • IPv4 DHCP server the IP address of the DHCPv4 server from which the current lease was obtained (DHCPv4 only).
    • Lease obtained a date and time stamp for when the DHCPv4 lease was obtained (DHCPv4 only).
    • Lease expires a date and time stamp for when the DHCPv4 lease expires (DHCPv4 only).

You can also use the IPCONFIG command to view advanced configuration settings. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and type cmd in the Search field.
  2. Press Enter.
  3. At the command line, type ipconfig /all to see detailed configuration information for all network adapters configured on the computer.

Note The command prompt is started in standard user mode. This is not an elevated command prompt.



Enabling and disabling local area connections

Local area connections are created and connected automatically. If you want to disable a connection so that it cannot be used, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network. In Network Explorer, click Network and Sharing Center on the toolbar.
  2. In Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections. In Network Connections, right-click the connection and select Disable to deactivate the connection and disable it.
  3. If you want to enable the connection later, right-click the connection in Network Connections and select Enable.

If you want to disconnect from a network or start another connection, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network. In Network Explorer, click Network and Sharing Center on the toolbar.
  2. In Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections. In Network Connections, right-click the connection and select Disconnect. Typically, only remote access connections have a Disconnect option.
  3. If you want to activate the connection later, right-click the connection in Network Connections and select Connect.

Renaming local area connections

Windows Server 2008 initially assigns default names for local area connections. In Network Connections, you can rename the connections at any time by right-clicking the connection, selecting Rename, and then typing a new connection name. If a computer has multiple local area connections, proper naming can help you and others better understand the uses of a particular connection.

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