Friday, January 19, 2007

Windows XP: Basic Networking Utilities

Below is a list of some command line network utilities that come with Windows that you can use for troubleshooting some basic network problems. The problem with these utilities is that they're not very intuitive until you learn to understand what you're looking at.

The primary use of them is to find out if different parts of your computer's network subsystems are working properly. For example if you're able to PING a remote computer, then you know that your computer is able to talk to it and that it's able to talk back to you. The IPCONFIG command is handy for finding out information about your computer's TCP/IP information, such as your IP address.

In order to access these utilities you must use the MS-DOS command prompt. To access the command prompt, from the Run... command under the Start menu, type CMD and press Enter. To exit the command prompt, close the window or type EXIT and press enter.

PING [hostname]
Example : ping
Preforms a basic network test to see if you can communicate with a remote computer. This is generally the first utility that you should run if you're having a network problems. Type "PING /?" for more information on this command.
TRACERT [hostname]
Example: traceroute
Shows the path and the number of routers (aka hops) that the data pass through to arrive to the destination, if a connection is broken, you can see where its happening at. Type "TRACERT /?" for more information on this command.
Example : ifconfig
Shows the basic TCP/IP network information for your computer, such as the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Type "IPCONFIG /?" for more information on this command.
NSLOOKUP [hostname]
Example: nslookup
Displays the remote IP address of a domain name based on the DNS information. This is a good test to make sure that your DNS connection is working properly. Type "NSLOOKUP /?" for more information on this command.

Below is an example of the output:
Non-authoritative answer:
NETSTAT [options]
Example: netstat -nt
Displays the current TCP/IP based connections established on your computer. This is handy to see the remote TCP/IP connections your system is using. Type "NETSTAT /?" for more information on this command.
TELNET [hostname] [port]
Example: telnet 80
Allows you to set up a simple terminal session with a another computer to perform different tasks, such as remote computer administration or running text based applications. This utility can also be used for doing basic troubleshooting on HTTP, SMTP, and other text based computer services.

1 comment:

Krishna K said...

Excellent text all in one place.
Thank you.