Network tasks are essential components of any computer's operating system. When you need to share files or connect to the Internet, you need to setup the network components that would support such activities. However, the different tools that you can use to facilitate efficient networking are scattered in various places in Windows Vista.
You should make it a point to know what tool you can use and at the same time know where to find the tools that you need. Here are a few how to's on how you can perform network related tasks in Windows vista. Most of these task will require that you logon to your computer using an Administrator account.
Find What the MAC Address of your Wireless Adapter is
Open a command prompt and type the command ipconfig /all. On the results, look for the wireless LAN adapter and follow the line that says Physical Address. Those six sets of letters and numbers is the MAC address or the machine address of your computer's wireless adapter.
Find Out your Computer's Hostname and its IP Address
Open a command prompt and type ipconfig /all. The name opposite Host Name is your computer's hostname or the name it uses to identify itself in the network. Go down to the Wireless LAN adapter portion and look for a series of four decimal numbers separated by dots opposite the label IPv4 Address. This is the IP address that your computer is using to communicate with other computers in the network.
Where to Manually Setup your Computer's IP Address
Open your computer's control panel, then click on Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center. On the left panel, click on Manage network connections and on the window that will come up, highlight Wireless Network Connection, right click it, and then click on Properties. On the next window, click on Internet Protocol version 4 and then click on Properties.
How to Make you Computer Use an Alternate DNS Server
Follow the above procedure for setting up your computer's IP address manually. Note that Obtain an IP address automatically is selected and at the lower part of the panel, click on Use the following DNS server addresses to select it. Enter the two IP addresses that you want your computer to use in looking up the IP addresses of the websites that you want to visit.
How to Setup your Computer for Windows File Sharing
Open your control panel, click on Network and Internet, and then click on Network and Sharing Center. Under the Sharing and Discovery portion, turn on both Network discovery and File sharing by clicking on the downward pointing arrow opposite each. This would be enough if you just want to share your folder for read access only. If you want to be able to create and delete files on the folder that you're sharing, you need to turn on also Password protected sharing.
Where to Go to Find What's Wrong with your Network Connection
Open your control panel, click on Network and Internet, and then click on Network and Sharing Center. On the diagram shown, click on the problem indicators to find out more information on how the connection problem can be resolved. You would be given several options on how the problem could be solved. Choose the one that you think would lead you toward the resolution of the problem. If nothing works, try restarting your computer.
Tell your Computer to Use a Preferred Wireless Network
Open your control panel, click on Network and Internet, and then click on Network and Sharing Center. On the left panel, click on Manage wireless networks and on the window that comes up next, move the network that you want to use to the topmost part of the list. While here, you can also remove networks that you don't want to use by deleting them from the list.
Find Out What Wireless Network Adapter your Computer is Using
Open your control panel, then click on Hardware and Sound, then click on Device Manager. Click on the plus sign to the left of Network adapters and you can check what wireless adapter your computer is using.
Turn your Wireless Adapter On or Off
Open your control panel, click on Mobile PC, and then click on Windows Mobility Center. Look for Wireless Network and click on the button that says Turn wireless on or off. Close all control panel windows when finished.
Setup your Firewall to allow an Application to Access your Computer
Open your control panel, click on Security, and then click on Windows Firewall. Click on the Change settings link and on the panel that will come up, click on the Exceptions button. If your application is shown on the list, put a check mark opposite it and click on the OK button. If not, click on the Add program or Add port whichever is preferable to you based on what information you have. This can potentially put your computer at risk from attacks from the Internet so care should be taken in changing the settings of your firewall.