8. How do I load up network protocols for
my network and which should I choose?
For small networks by far the simplest (and
also quickest) protocol is NetBEUI. The beauty of it compared
with TCP/IP is that it is self configuring in that all you
do is load it and it works without any settings at all. For
networks up to 10 PC's without a windows 2000 server it also
tends to be the quickest.
To load it right click on the Network Icon and choose "Properties"
from the popup menu.
This should give you a dialog similar to the
Click the configuration tab and you will see
a box underneath with installed components. The most important
thing here is that you have installed "Client for Microsoft
Networks", some form of ethenet adapter (such as the
Realtek RTL8139 shown above - though of course it doesn't
have to be Realtek, provided it is some form of PCI ethernet
adapter then generally you shouldn't have any problems with
connecting). By default on a new windows installation it will
also show the TCP/IP protocol installed for all installed
adapters. Personally for the small home network I tend to
remove the TCP/IP for the ethernet adapter (though of course
you must leave it for the dial up adapter or your internet
won't work !!!). If you find any other protocols installed
I would tend to remove them too so that your computer is in
no doubt about which protocol it should use for which purpose.
There are two major exceptions to this rule. The first is
if you are using Internet Connection Sharing to share your
internet / e-mail between computers - in which case leave
the TCP/IP for the ethernet adapter as internet connection
sharing will use it. The second is for network gaming which
may use IPX/SPX protocol so you may require either to install
that or to leave it installed if it already shows.
With all this decided it is time to load up the NetBEUI protocol
by selecting the ADD button to give you the dialog below
Choose "Protocol" and select ADD
to give you
Select "Microsoft" in the left pane
and "NetBEUI" in the right pane and choose OK. Depending
on how windows was originally loaded on your system the next
screen may ask you for your windows95/98 cd so have it ready,
and then the protocol will be loaded on. This will take you
back to the Network dialog box.
Click on "File and Print
Sharing" to bring the dialog below
Tick both options and click OK (be ready again
with your windows CD in case it wants it) and when it has
finished and it will take you back to the network dialog where
you should choose the "Identification" tab as below
Give your computer a friendly name (making
sure that it is different for every computer on your network)
and decide on a workgroup name such as the unadventurous "WORKGROUP"
one above or a stylish one of your own. Finally choose the
"Access Control" tab as below
Make sure you are using "Share level
access control" (unless you are using an NT4 Server or
Windows 2000 Server) and you can finally click OK. Windows
will tell you windows needs to be restarted. Select OK and
when windows re-starts the protocol will be loaded and ready
for use. Assuming you have protocols loaded on more than one
PC then when you make the physical cable connections you should
have a network.