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Section 37. About Configuring PCs for Networking

Section 37. About Configuring PCs for Networking

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KeyTerm

WorkgroupAMicrosoftWindowspeer-to-peernetwork.Each

computerinaworkgroupcanprovideandaccessresources.



Note

Thetermpeer-to-peernetworkingcancausesomeconfusion.

IntermsofMicrosoftWindowshomeorsmallofficenetworking,

apeer-to-peernetworkisaworkgroup.Theworkgroupconsists

ofmultiplecomputersthatshareresourcesequally.Theyare

peers.Thetermpeer-to-peernetworkingisalsousedto

describeAdHocWiFinetworking,inwhichtwocomputersare

configuredtocommunicatedirectlyusingWiFi.



Foracomputertoparticipateinthenetwork,itmustbea

memberoftheworkgroup.Workgroupsarelimitedto10

computersbecauseapeercomputerrunninganoperating

systemsuchasWindowsXPcanaccommodateonly10

connectionstoaparticularsharedresourcesuchasafolderor

printer.Youmightfindthat,ifseveralcomputersprinttoa

printerthatissharedbyaparticularcomputerinthe

workgroup,thecomputersharingtheprinterbecomessluggish

andrunsmoreslowlybecauseitsprocessingpowerand

memoryarebeingtaxedby"servingup"theresourcetothe

othercomputersintheworkgroup.Isuggestthatyoulimityour

workgroupsto5or6computers,particularlyifeveryoneprints

toasingleprinterthatisprovidedasasharedresourcebyone

oftheworkgroupcomputers.



Note

AlthoughtheWindowsXPoperatingsystemprovidesthe

capabilitytoshareresourcesonanetwork,itiscertainlynot

designedtohandlehighnetworktrafficorservemultiple

resourcestoalargenumberofcomputers.Corporateand

institutionalnetworksusepowerfulserverswithnetworkserver

softwaretoprovideprintingandfileresources.Thesetypesof

networkscanaccommodatealargenumberofusers(hundreds

andeventhousands)becauseofthededicatedserversthat

"serveup"thenetworkresources.WindowsXPisdesignedas

anend-userdesktopenvironmentforrunninglocalapplications

suchasyouremailclient,wordprocessor,andwebbrowser.

AlthoughWindowsXPcanalso"serveup"resources,itis

extremelylimitedinthenumberofothercomputers(thelimitis

10connections)towhichitcanservearesourceatanyone

time.



Eachcomputerintheworkgroupshouldbeidentifiedbya

uniquename.ThisnameisalsoreferredtoastheNetBIOS

nameandcanbeupto15charactersinlength.Theterm

NetBIOSisaholdoverfromanearlyMicrosoftnetworking

strategy,butuniquenamesarestillrequiredtoidentifythe

computersintheworkgroup.

Computersthatparticipateintheworkgroupmustbe

configuredforfileandprintsharingandmustalsobeconfigured

asMicrosoftnetworkclients.Boththesesettingsareconfigured

inthePropertiesdialogboxforthecomputer'snetwork

adapterwhichinthiscasewouldbeyourWiFinetworkadapter.

ConfiguringyourWiFiadapterforfileandprintsharingis

describedin AddaNetworkClientorService.Creating

theworkgroupisverystraightforwardbecauseMicrosoft



providesaNetworkSetupWizardthatwalksyouthroughthe

stepsofcreatingthenewworkgroup.WediscusstheNetwork

SetupWizardin RuntheNetworkSetupWizard.

Letmesummarizeacoupleofimportantpointsbeforewe

discussIPaddressingandwhyIPaddressesareessentialto

networkcommunication.InChapter5,"Installingand

ConfiguringWirelessAdapters,"Idiscussedhowyouconfigure

yourWiFinetworkadaptertocommunicatewiththeWiFirouter

onyourhomenetwork.IfwewerenotusingWiFiasour

networkmedium,Chapter5wouldhaveconsistedofone

sentence:"Connectanetworkcablefromthecomputertothe

router."BecauseweareusingWiFi,themedium(wireless

communicationthroughradiosignals)mustbeconfiguredfor

networkcommunication.

Afterthenetworkmedium(WiFi)isenabledonthecomputers

andtheWiFirouter,computersmustbeconfiguredwiththe

appropriatenetworksettingstoallowthemtoshareresources

andalsobeamemberofaWindowsworkgroup.Finally,

computersontheWiFinetwork(thesameistrueforcomputers

onawiredLAN)mustbeconfiguredwithanetworkaddressing

systemthatuniquelyidentifieseachcomputer.ThisiswhereIP

addressingcomesin.



IPAddressing

TheTCP/IPprotocolisasetofrulesthatdictatehowcomputers

useIPaddressestocommunicateonaTCP/IPnetwork.We

useIPaddressingonbothlargeandsmallnetworks

(workgroups)todaybecauseitisnecessaryforcomputersto

accesstheInternet,whichisitselfahugeTCP/IPnetwork.



Note

TheTCP/IPprotocolissetupbydefaultonacomputerrunning



theWindowsXPHomeorProfessionaloperatingsystem.



Everydevice(bothcomputersandWiFirouters)onyour

networkmustbeassignedanIPaddress.TheWiFirouteris

typicallyassigneditsIPaddressautomaticallybyyourInternet

serviceproviderwhenyouconnecttheWiFiroutertoyour

broadbandconnectiondevice(suchasyourDSLrouteror

broadbandmodem).

IPaddressesaredotteddecimaladdressesthatarewrittenas

foursetsofdecimalnumbersseparatedbyperiods.For

example,130.0.1.1isthecorrectformatforanIPaddress.IP

addressesarealsoaccompaniedbyasubnetmask.The

subnetmaskhelpscomputersdeterminewhatpartoftheIP

addressreferstothenetworkandwhatpartoftheaddress

referstotheactualcomputerthathasbeenassignedthe

address.Subnetmasksarealsowritteninthedotteddecimal

format.Forexample,255.255.0.0wouldbeasubnetmask

thatcouldaccompanythe130.0.1.1IPaddress.



KeyTerms

IPaddressAdotteddecimalrepresentationofabinary

addressthatisuniquelyassignedtoeachcomputeranddevice

runningonanIPnetwork.



SubnetmaskAdotteddecimalrepresentationofabinary

maskthatisusedbycomputerstodeterminetheportion

ofanIPaddressthatprovidesnetworkinformationand

theportionoftheIPaddressthatsuppliescomputer



addressinformation.



Tip

ThereisnoquestionthatIPaddressingisconfusingforthe

homenetworkorsmallofficeaficionado.Anumberofwebsites

andmanygoodbookscanexpandyourknowledgeoftheIP

addressingschemeandthepartthatsubnetmasksplayinIP

addressing.MostnetworkscurrentlyusetheIPv4standard,

whichembracesthefour-part,dotteddecimalnumbering

systemdiscussedandusedinthischapter.AnewversionofIP,

calledIPv6,isnowavailableandusesadifferentnumbering

system,whichwillonlymakeitmoredifficultforhomenetwork

administratorstounderstandhowtoconfigureIPaddress

settings.IsuggestthatyouallowyourWiFirouterto

dynamicallyprovidetheIPaddressesandsubnetmasksforthe

computersonyourWiFiworkgroup.Therouteristypically

configuredtodothisrightoutofthebox.Thisapproachalso

providesadditionalsecuritybecauseyournetwork"hides"

behindtheWiFirouter.OnlytheWiFirouterhasa"real"IP

address,whichitgetsfromthebroadbanddeviceprovidedby

yourInternetserviceprovider.



IP(InternetProtocol)networksrequirethateachcomputerhas

auniqueIPaddress.Thisaddressisusedtoidentifythe

computerforboththesendingandreceivingofdataontheIP

network.BecausetheWiFirouterautomaticallyprovidestheIP

addressforthecomputersontheWiFinetwork,youdon'thave

toworryaboutconfiguringthecomputerswiththeIPaddress

andthesubnetmaskthatarerequired.Therouterdoesthisfor

youusingtheDynamicHostConfigurationProtocol.Whena

computercomesonline,itaskstherouterforanIPaddressand

subnetmask.Therouteranswersbyprovidingthisinformation



tothecomputer.

TheonlytimeyouwillhavetoassignstaticIPaddressesto

WiFi-enabledcomputersiswhenyouwantthecomputersto

communicateonanAdHocnetworkthatdoesnotuseaWiFi

router(see ConfigureAdapterforComputer-toComputerNetworking).AlthoughlettingyourWiFirouter

doleoutappropriateIPaddressesandsubnetmaskstoyour

workgroupcomputerskeepsyoublissfullyignorantofactually

workingwithdifferentIPaddressclassesandstaticaddressing,

itcertainlydoesn'thurttohaveabasicunderstandingofIP

addressingandsubnetmasks.

TheIPaddressingschemewasactuallydevelopedinthe1970s

whentheInternetwasfirstbeingcreated.Today,intheUnited

States(andmostofNorthandSouthAmerica),IPaddresses

are"leased"bycompaniesfromtheAmericanRegistryfor

InternetNumbers(ARIN).Thecompanypaysforarangeof

addressesandthenusesthemaspublicIPaddressessothat

thecompanycanparticipateontheInternet.YourInternet

serviceproviderleasesitsIPaddressesfromARINandthen

assignsyouanIPaddressforyourhigh-speedInternet

connectionusingDHCP.

TheIPaddressingschemeisactuallydividedintothreedifferent

classes:ClassA,B,andC.Theseclasseswerecreatedsothat

companiesandinstitutionscouldbeassignedIPaddressranges

basedontheirsizeandtheirneed(intermsofthenumberof

addressesrequired).



WEBRESOURCE

http://webopedia.internet.com/TERM/I/IP_address.html

EachoftheIPaddressclasseswasdesignedforaparticularsize

ofnetwork.FormorebasicinformationaboutIPaddress

classes,checkouttheWebopediasite.



EachIPaddressalsohasadefaultsubnetmask.Themaskis

usedbythecomputersandotherdevicesonthenetworkto

determinewhichpartofanIPaddressprovidesnetwork

informationandwhichpartoftheaddressprovidesaddressing

informationrelatedtoaparticularcomputer.

Theclasssubnetsareasfollows:

ClassA:255.0.0.0

ClassB:255.255.0.0

ClassC:255.255.255.0



Note

Ifyoulookatthesubnetmasksforeachclass,youcanseethat

foraClassAnetwork,theIPaddress'sfirstoctetismaskedby

thesubnetmask(the255)andsothenetworkinformation

foundintheIPaddressactuallyconsistsofthefirstoctet.Ina

ClassBnetwork,thefirsttwooctetsarenetworkinformation;in

aClassCnetwork,thefirstthreeoctetsarenetwork

information.WithfeweroctetsdevotedtoactualIPaddresses

asyoumovefromClassAtoClassC,youcanseewhyClassC

networksprovidefewerindividualIPaddresses.



PublicIPaddressesallowcomputersandotherdevicesto

connectdirectlytotheInternet.Youdon'tactuallyneedto

worryaboutpublicIPaddressesandyourconnectiontothe

Internet.ThisisalltakencareofbyyourInternetservice



provider.YourWiFirouterisdynamicallyassignedanIPaddress

tocommunicatewithyourInternetserviceproviderandthe

Internet.BecausetheWiFiroutersitsatagatewaybetween

yourWiFinetworkandtheInternet(theInternetconnection

providedbyyourISP),theIPaddressesusedonyourlocalarea

network(includingWiFiandcabledcomputersonthenetwork)

don'thavetobeactualpublicIPaddresses.Thisistruebecause

yourLANisactually"hidingbehind"theWiFirouter.

TheIPaddressesprovideddynamicallybytheWiFirouterare

privateIPaddresses.WhentheIPaddressingsystemwas

originallydesignedfortheInternet,agroupofaddressesfrom

theClassA,ClassB,andClassCrangeswerereservedfor

privatenetworking.Theseaddressesareusedbythecomputers

andotherdevicesonyournetworktocommunicatelocally.Any

communicationrequiredwiththeInternetsuchaswebbrowsing

orsendingemailisforwardedfromyourlocalnetworktothe

Internet(byyourISP)throughtheWiFirouter.

Therangesofaddressesreservedforprivateuseareasfollows:

ClassA:10.0.0.0to10.255.255.255(subnetmask255.0.0)

ClassB:172.16.0.0to172.31.255.255(subnetmask

255.255.0)

ClassC:192.168.0.0to192.168.255.255(subnetmask

255.255.255.0)

YouwillfindthatyourWiFirouterwillassignIPaddressesto

computersonthenetworkusingoneoftheprivaterangeof

addresses;forexample,myNetgearrouterusestherangeof

addressesfrom192.168.1.2to192.168.1.51(ClassC)asthe

defaultpoolforassigningIPaddressesdynamicallyto

computersontheWiFilocalareanetwork.MostWiFirouters

allowyoutoextendorchangetherangeifneeded.Toviewthe



rangeofaddresses,accessyourrouter'sconfigurationandthen

accessthescreenthatprovidestheLANIPsettings.For

example,onmyNetgearrouter,IaccesstheLANIPsetup

screenusingtherouter'sadvancedsettings.



Tip

ItmakessensetoletyourWiFirouterassigntheIPaddresses

foryourworkgroupcomputers.Thatway,thereisnochanceof

havingacomputerconfiguredwithaduplicateIPaddress.If

twocomputershavethesameIPaddress,theyareboth

"knockedoff"thenetworkandcannotcommunicate.Ifforsome

reasonyoudecidetoconfigurestaticIPaddress(sayinanAdHocsituation),donotusetheaddressesinthepoolthatthe

WiFirouterusestodynamicallyassignaddresses.Usea

differentrangeofaddressesforyourstaticaddressassignments

(althoughinmostcasesyoushouldn'thaveanystatic

addresses).



BecausetheWiFiroutertakescareoftheIPaddressingforyour

computer,youdon'tneedtoworryaboutconfiguringcomputers

withstaticaddressesunlessthosecomputerswillbesetupin

theAd-Hocmode.YoucanuseanyIPaddressesfromthe

privatenetworkranges.Justmakesurethatyouareconsistent.

IftwocomputersaregoingtocommunicateinAd-Hocmode,

configureeachcomputerwithanIPaddressfromthesame

class,suchasthetwoclassAIPaddresses10.0.0.1and

10.0.0.2.

Successfullyconfiguringacomputertoparticipateonyour

homeorsmallofficeWiFinetworkrequiresthatyouconfigure

thecomputerforworkgroupparticipation(thatis,youmust

givethecomputeranameanditsappropriateworkgroup

settings).Youmustalsoconfigurethecomputersothatit



receivesavalidIPaddressandsubnetmaskfromyourWiFi

routeroryoumustconfigurethecomputerorcomputerswith

staticIPaddresseswhenoperatingtheWiFinetworkinAd-Hoc

mode(meaningthatnoWiFirouterispresenttoprovidetheIP

addresses).Whenyouhaveconfiguredalltheseitemscorrectly,

thecomputercanbrowsethenetworkforotherworkgroup

membersandaccessnetworkservices.



38.RuntheNetworkSetupWizard

BEFOREYOUBEGIN



AboutConfiguringPCsforNetworking



ForyourcomputertoactuallyparticipateinaMicrosoft

workgroup,youmustconfigureitasaworkgroupmember.

Thismeansthat,asalreadymentionedintheprevioussection,

thecomputermustbeconfiguredwithauniqueNetBIOSname

andmustalsobemadeamemberoftheworkgroup(thisalso

meansthattheworkgroupmustbecreated).

Whennamingyourcomputers,selecteasilyrecognizednames

sothatauseronthenetworkknowswhichcomputerheorshe

isactuallyconnectingto(youhaveamaximumof15characters

andcanusealphanumericandnumericcharacters,butyou

cannotusespecialcharacterssuchasspaces,@,#,$,andso

on).Youcanbeascreativeasyouwantintermsofnaming

yournetworkedcomputers,buttrytoadoptasystem.For

example,youcanusenamessuchasgregPCormrgamester,

oryoucanadoptasimpledesignationsuchashome1,home2.

Whenyounamethecomputer,youarealsoprovidedwiththe

optionofincludingadescriptionforthecomputer.Usethe

combinationofthenameandthedescriptiontoprovideallthe

informationnecessaryforotherusersonthehomenetwork(the

workgroup)tobeabletoidentifyaparticularcomputersothey

canaccessresourcessuchasfilesorprintersthataresharedby

thatparticularcomputer.

Yourhomenetworkorworkgroupisalsodesignatedbyaname.

ThedefaultnamesetbyMicrosoftisMSHOME.Youwillwantto



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