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Basic Networking

Basic Networking

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Published by Mohammed Hussain

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Published by: Mohammed Hussain on Jul 03, 2014
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Things you need to know before you can ask an intelligent question


Every beginner who comes here asks questions without providing the information necessary
to answer that question. If you read and understand this tutorial, you will know how to ask
a question properly. But you may not need to, because you may find the solution to your
problem here.

 LAN: Local Area Network. Your local network
 WAN: Wide Area Network. The larger network your LAN connects to. The first step
on the path to the Internet.
 DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A server that assigns IP Address,
Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and DNS Server values to your TCP-IP system.
 DNS: Domain Name System. DNS is what translates the Google URL into googles IP
address. Like an automated phone book.
 Router: A network device with two interfaces; one side WAN, the other side LAN.
They must be on different networks, or there is nothing for the router to do. The
router inspects network taffic and decides: Local ( PC to printer ) or Long Distance (
PC to Internet ) and sends the traffic out the appropriate interface.
 Bridge, Wireless Bridge, Client: A device with one wireless and one wired network
interface that connects wirelessly to an AP or Wireless Router. A bridge does the
same thing as a USB WiFi adapter, or a wireless PCI card. The difference is that the
bridge has an ethernet connector that allows the output to be shared by all of the
computers on a wired network. A printer, scanner or DVR ( digital video recorder )
on a wired network with a bridge is effectively a wireless device.
 Protocol: The true and proper meaning of protocol is:

Rules for communicating

Unfortunately, this meaning has been corrupted into a dozen different sub-
 TCP/IP: A protocol used with Ethernet networks. Ethernet is the hardware, TCP/IP
is a suite of protocols that defines the connection method and sets the parameters of
the networks

TCP/IP Settings:

You have 4 values to deal with in TCP - IP:

IP Address. Think phone number. A unique identification number for each network
interface in your system.

Subnet Mask. Works with IP address.
 Must be the same on all equipment in your network.
 The subnet mask decrees that a range of similar IP addresses are part of the same
 IP address out of the range of the Subnet mask = different network.
 Different subnet mask = different network.

If IP Address and Subnet Mask are good, you get local connectivity; your in house
network equipment communicates.

Default Gateway: Think Dial 9 for an outside line. The default gateway is an IP address on
your network that is the LAN side of a router that connects to a bigger network. The other
side of that router is the WAN side of that router.

DNS Server. The address of a DNS server. Frequently multiple choice. One of these choices
should be the IP address of your ISP.

If you can connect to your printer but not to the internet, IP and Subnet Mask are
good, Default Gateway or DNS Server may be bad.

Router TCP/IP settings: The router is the interface between two networks. Some of these
settings affect the LAN the router serves.

IP Address: A router must have at least two IP addresses.
 The WAN address points to the internet connection.
 The LAN address is the internet connection for the local network
 The router LAN address is the Default Gateway for the local network devices

Subnet Mask: No effect on LAN
Default Gateway: No effect on LAN, but useful in troubleshooting
DNS Server: You can use the routers DNS Server IP in your LAN settings, or you can use
the routers IP address.

Troubleshooting connections that go beyond your network:

If you can connect to your printer but not to the internet:

IP address is good
Subnet Mask is good
Default Gateway may be the problem

How to determine if Default Gateway is good: trace route to a random IP address. It
does not matter if there is no such address; traceroute will document the steps the system
makes to try to find the address. This gives us the information we need.
 If you can trace an IP address off your network the trace is going through your
default gateway.
 If you can not trace an IP address off your network the trace is not going through
your default gateway.

You may have the wrong value for the Default Gateway, the device may have a problem or
the connections upstream from the device may have a problem.

How to determine if DNS Server is good: trace route to a known good URL.
 If you can trace an an IP off your network but not an URL the DNS server is not
configured correctly or not working correctly.

If you still need help:

 IP Address
 Subnet Mask
 Default Gateway
 DNS Server
 The computer that will not connect to the internet
 A computer that will connect to the internet, if you have one on the same network
 The router

so we have something to work with when we try to troubleshoot your problem

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