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Windows XP Home Networking Guide - Windows XP Home Networking Guide - Page 6

Windows XP has been taking the entire computer world by storm. For the first time ever, there is a Operating System available that is compatible with nearly all existing hardware, is extremely stable, and is designed for both the novice and the expert alike. But what about those who have a couple of computers sitting around and have toyed with the idea of a home network? Never fear, for Cameron "Mr Tweak" Wilmot is here to help explain just how easy it is to establish a home network with Windows XP. Come on in and see for yourself just how simple it really is.

By: | Guides | Posted: Feb 9, 2002 5:00 am

Configuring the Network in Windows XP Continued


- Network Identification Wizard


Now we have to setup the name of your computer and the workgroup in which it belongs to. To do this click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> and then click the Computer Name tab. Firstly click "Network ID", this will bring up the "Network Identification Wizard". On the first screen simply click Next to proceed. On the next screen we need to choose the first option (This computer is part of a business network, and I use it to connect to other computers at work), on the next screen choose the second option (My company uses a network without a domain), this will bring you to a screen like the one pictured below...



Here we need to choose what the workgroup on all computers on the network will be called, so apply this same process for all computers on the network. Most common names are "MSHOME" and "WORKGROUP" (case sensitive), you can basically call the workgroup whatever you like, in my case I've stuck to the plain "WORKGROUP".


It is worth noting some broadband providers use their own separate workgroup, as in the case of Optus down here in Australia, they use their own workgroup called "@HOME". If your in a similar situation, use the same workgroup as your ISP has instructed you do on all client computers.


- Enabling Internet Connection Sharing


Chances are if you couldn't bring up TweakTown before your server is yet to be setup to be allowing a connection to the Internet. This is simple enough to change, jump onto your server and click Start -> Settings -> Network Connections now you'll need to select your ISP account. You'll be brought to a new screen, from here click Advanced and you'll be brought to a screen like the one pictured below...



OK - Firstly you'll notice I have the Internet Connection Firewall enabled for the Internet connection. According to Microsoft, a firewall is a security system that acts as a protective boundary between a network and the outside world. Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) is firewall software that is used to set restrictions on what information is communicated from your home or small office network to and from the Internet to your network. I recommend you have this option enabled, while it isn't as powerful as hardware firewalls, it will protect you to a certain degree but not fully.


Following on from this we move down to the all-important ICS options. Ensure you have "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection and if you want to be able to control various settings of the Internet account from the other client computers, ensure you have "Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection".


The only other option we have left to talk about is "Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet". Simply this means if a client PC attempts to access the Internet when the server isn't connected to the Internet, it will automatically create a new connection without any user intervention. Now click OK and the settings we have just changed will be applied. Chances are you will have to disconnect your Internet connection and reconnect for the options to become active. Once you've done this, jump back on one of your client computers and try and access the Internet by typing in an address in your Internet browser. With any luck your desired page will have loaded with no problems and you'll have usual Internet access to programs like ICQ without having to change any options in third party programs like this. If your still having problems, I recommend you reboot both server and client computers. If you are still experiencing problems, check to see all your cables are plugged in and that your hub is powered up, always check the simple stuff first before getting all technical. Try going to a dos prompt on a client machine and typing ping - this will check to see if your machine can talk to your internet and print server. If you get no response (Request timed out) then something may be wrong with either your cabling, switch, network cards or settings. If that didn't fix it, what I'm about to tell you should.


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