Communication between computers is very similar
to a communication between humans:
In a communication, you usually address a person by its name (example: "John, can you please tell...")
you can talk to everybody (example:
"Please, everybody listen : who has taken the manual on
and you need to agree on a communication language (I can assume
that you understand English
since you read these pages, but would you understand : "Bitte
legen Sie die Diskette ein"
which is German and means: "Please, insert the
part of the Network configuration
Network Properties :
via "Control-Panel" or via
right-click on Network Neighborhood :
tab : "Identification"
- Computer name
|Windows 2000 /
part of the "MyComputer" or
"My Computer" Properties :
tab : "Network Identification"
you will need to identify your computer by
a "Computer Name" and
the groups of
computers connected together by a
First, both names are limited to max. 15 alpha-numeric characters
plus a few special characters,
like: underscore "_" and "$". You can NOT
use any space ( like: "John
Please, keep it simple and short:
- although 15 char are allowed, use max. 8 char
(NT4 warns about possible connection
- use only A-Z (in UPPERCASE) and 0-9
- avoid "$" (it has special
features to hide a system)
You must make sure, that the "Computer Name"
is unique: defined only on one computer
( imagine in a discussion between
human's if you say: "John, please tell me....." and
there are 2 or more John's,
who then respond both at the same time , making the replies not
understandable, or none of them, because they
look at each other to find out, which "John" should
reply .To avoid confusion, names must be unique )
Please, make also sure, that such a "Computer
Name" is not identical to a Username !
Make sure, that the "Workgroup" name will be the same
on all connected computers, to make
it easy to communicate between them (Microsoft
proposed in NT4 to use as name "WORKGROUP",
in Windows ME they suggest "MSHOME" )
Communication Language = Protocol
In a previous step, we discussed the selection of the type of
You can compare this to decide, whether you like to communicate
to a friend (which is far away)
- making a phone call
- sending a letter via postal mail
- sending an e-mail
But you also need to agree on a language: English, Spanish,
French, German, Chinese, ......
Like with Human languages, which evolved thousands of years ago
in different parts of the world,
different networking "languages"
= "Protocols" developed were
developed on the "Computer Stone Age"
(an amazing 30 years ago) by different
|Network Properties :
supports the 3 most important and most
used network protocols:
Starting Windows XP, only the following
protocols are supported by Microsoft :
( NetBEUI is now an
"unsupported Protocol" ! )
The NetBEUI protocol was originally developed by IBM, later
adopted by Microsoft for
their first networking product : "Microsoft
- It is very simple to install (there is NOTHING
to configure and works, as long as the
computer name and
workgroup name is properly defined), it
is a very fast protocol, but
- it is NOT routable:
It can NOT be used to connect networks in different locations
This is a serious limit for use in large companies, but its
simplicity makes is a perfect choice for
- it is not supported anymore on Windows XP !
The IPX/SPX protocol was originally developed by NOVELL for their
Netware was the first affordable PC-based fileserver ( long
before Microsoft entered this market
with their Windows NT-server product ). In the first versions of
Netware, you had to use the
IPX/SPX-protocol to connect a PC to the Netware server (in the
latest versions of Netware,
also TCP/IP protocol is now supported).
To enable the connection of Windows PC's, Microsoft implemented a
protocol. IPX/SPX-protocol requires very little configuration,
when connecting to a Netware
or NT-server, but on networks without a server you need to
configure manually the Frame-Type.
IPX/SPX is routable and can be used to create large professional
networks, connecting multiple
sites. It is not often used in home-networks, unless explicitly
required, like by some computer
Originally developed for the ARPANET (which later evolved into
the Internet), TCP/IP was first
only implemented on UNIX-systems. It can be quite complex in
configuration with items like:
IP-address, subnet-mask, gateway, Router, DNS, DHCP, and before using TCP/IP, I strongly
suggest that you update your knowledge of TCP/IP-basics explaining all these buzz-works.
Due to the explosive growth of the TCP/IP-based Internet in the
last years, TCP/IP has become
now more and more the most important protocol used in most
TCP/IP works only with an IP-address assigned for each
If you have only Windows98/98SE/ME systems, you have the
possibility to let Windows
assign itself automatically an IP-address, but that will delay
the bootup of your system with
15-20 seconds. Therefore I strongly suggest, that you ALWAYS
assign manually an IP-address.
Unless you have good reasons to use a specific address-range, I
suggest that you use the
address-ranage: 192.168.1.x, where x is 1,2,3.
give each of your systems a number and then use the following
- System #1: 192.168.1.1
- System #2: 192.168.1.2
- System #3: 192.168.1.3
Although you could install all protocols (which will most
probably work), it is strongly suggested
to install a few as posisble , preferable only ONE protocol.
So, which protocol to use in a Home-network,
connecting just 2 or 3 PC's together ?
In general, try to use ONLY 1 protocol, but if required multiple
protocols can be installed,
depending if you like to use the Windows98/ME/2000 Internet Connection Sharing or a multi-Player games requiring a certain protocol :
||If your network contains a Windows
then you should use TCP/IP.
||If your network contains a Windows XP
then you must use TCP/IP.