Configuring the Network in Windows XP
- IP Addressing
First off we have to assign each PC on the network with an IP (Internet Protocol) address. In terms of the Internet, an IP address is the number your computer is given, as a means of identification when you connect to the Internet, be it "static" or "dynamic". An IP address on computers on your LAN works exactly the same, except your home network is "internal" and you can choose any IP address you like instead of being given one automatically by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The standard IP range I'm talking about is known as the reserved Class C subnet and this offers IP addresses on the single workgroup of 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254. This means you can have up to 254 computers on each workgroup. Usually the server would have an IP address of 192.168.0.1. When you enable Internet Connection Sharing on your Internet account account your server will automatically be assigned this IP by default.
- Server Configuration
NOTE: Under XP and Windows NT based OS' you may need to be logged in with administrative privileges to change these settings.
OK - Once your system is setup with the NIC installed correctly, we can setup the IP address of each system and which workgroup it belongs to and so forth. Let's start with the IP address. Click Start -> Settings -> Network Connections now right click on "Local Area Connection" and click Properties. Next highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties. You will then be given a screen like the one pictured below...
For the screenshot above, presume we are changing the IP address for the server. This is all that needs to be changed for the server; the screenshot below shows what needed to be changed for the other computers on the network, the client computers. Below is a screenshot to demonstrate just how your server will act in a graphical sense...
- Client PC Configuration
Above we can see that one of the client computers is using an IP address of 192.168.0.5. The subnet mask is set automatically so there is no need to worry about it. You can use any IP address you like, as long as it is in the range mentioned above and as long as no more than one machine on the network and workgroup has that IP - Windows will prompt you with this warning if more than one machine try to share an IP. Again, below is a screenshot to demonstrate just how your client computer will act in a graphical sense...
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