When organizing your home network it’s easier to assign each computer it’s own IP address than using DHCP. This guide was written for Windows XP but also references Windows Vista and the techniques apply to Windows 7 as well. In the first part of this article I described the benefits of running a home network; the second part of this article details how to setup a static ip address on computers that are running on your home network.
Benefits of Running a Home Network
There are some primary advantages to running a peer-to-peer network. They are listed below:
1. File sharing – connecting multiple computers in a networked environment allow you to share MP3 files, video files, and other data across the computers allowing for easy addition, retrieval, and manipulation of said files. Network file sharing between computers gives you more flexibility than using traditional optical media or floppy disks. Not only can you share photos, music files, and documents, you can also use a home network to save copies of all your important data on a different computer.
2. Sharing printers and peripherals – sharing a printer across computers in a networked environment allows you to save money because all computers are using the same physical device(s). No longer do you need to bounce from one system to another just to print a report or e-mail message. Other computer peripherals can be shared similarly including network hard disk drives, scanners, webcams, and optical dvd burners.
3. Internet connection sharing – with a home network one computer can be setup as a Internet server and other computers in your home lan can be setup to connect to the Internet through the main server thus allowing you to save money because you are not spending money on additional resources to connect the additional computers to the Internet. You can use a broadband router to further simplify the internet connection sharing because a router spreads the Internet connection among multiple computers on the home network,
4. Multiplayer games – many popular multiplayer games support a local area network (LAN) mode where family and friends can all play together if the computers are networked.
5. Home Entertainment – newer home entertainment products including video game consoles (such as the PS3 and XBox One) now support wired or wireless home networking. Having these products integrated into your network enables online Internet gaming, video sharing, and other advanced features.
Further Information About This Tutorial:
If you have a home network with several computes and devices, it’s a good idea to assign each of them a specific address. If you use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), each computer will request and be assigned an address every time it’s booted up. When you have to do troubleshooting on your network, it’s annoying going to each machine to figure out what IP they have.
Using Static IPs prevents address conflicts between devices and allows you to manage them more easily. Assigning IPs to Windows is essentially the same process, but getting to where you need to be varies between each version.
Configuring a Static IP Address in Windows XP
Access The Windows Start Menu:
- Left click Start.
- Left click Control Panel on the Start menu.
Wait until the Control Panel menu is expanded. If it is not expanded by default, left click the Control Panel link and wait until the Control Panel loads.
Next, right click on the network connection you want to configure a static IP address for and left click Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.
The properties for the Local Area Connection window appears
Double left click the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) entry under the list of network protocols installed for the adapter. The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window will appear for the selected network adapter.
Left click the “Use the following IP address”.
For the purpose of this tutorial you will use the values as suggested in the screen shot above. If your network settings are different than what is listed simply substitute with correct values.
For this tutorial, use these values:
- Enter IP address as 192.168.100.1.
- For subnet mask, enter 255.255.255.0.
- For default gateway, enter 192.168.2.1.
Under use the following DNS server addresses, enter the IP address of the DNS server that you currently use. Obtain this information from your network administrator or Internet Service Provider.
Left click the Advanced button. The Advanced TCP/IP Settings window will appear where you can specify additional TCP/IP settings for the network adapter to use.
Left click the DNS tab at the top of the window.
Uncheck the box “Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix”.
Uncheck the box “Register this connection’s addresses in DNS”.
If you use NetBIOS to share files across your local network check the option “Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP”.
Congratulations! You now know how to setup a static IP address on a local area connection in Windows XP!
How To Set A Static IP Address In Windows Vista and Windows 7
In the notification area, down near the clock, click the network activity icon.
It’s the one that looks like two monitors and a blue beach ball.
Click the Network and Sharing Center link.
Windows 7 brings up the Network and Sharing Center.
Click the Properties button. Then click the Continue button on the User Control message.
Vista brings up the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box for your network card (or wireless adapter).
You finally drill down to the dialog box that lets you assign IP addresses manually.
If you’re sure you know what address will work, select the Use the Following IP Address option and type your static IP address in the four boxes.
The one in the previous figure probably won’t work for you.
Type in your Subnet mask. This number is almost always 255.255.255.0.
Type the address of your DNS server.
You have to set the DNS server manually if you have to set a static IP address. If you don’t know what this number should be, contact your Internet service provider. They should be able to tell you.
Click the OK button twice, click the Close button once, and then click the red X to exit the Network and Sharing Center.