Configuring Client Systems for TCP/IP

In a TCP/IP network, there are several settings to configure to enable a client system to access peer and server services. Configuring a client system for TCP/IP can be a relatively complex task, or it can be simple. Any complexity involved is related to the possible need to configure TCP/IP manually. The simplicity is related to the fact that TCP/IP configuration can occur automatically via DHCP. Brief explanations of the IP related settings used to connect to a TCP/IP network follow:

  • IP address Each system must be assigned a unique IP address so that it can communicate on the network.

  • Subnet mask The subnet mask enables the system to determine which portion of the IP address represents the network address and which portion represents the node address.

  • Default gateway The default gateway enables the system to communicate with systems on a remote network, without the need for explicit routes to be defined.

  • DNS server addresses DNS servers enable dynamic hostname resolution to be performed. It is common practice to have two DNS server addresses defined so that if one server becomes unavailable, the other can be used.

  • WINS server addresses A WINS server enables Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) names to be resolved to IP addresses. As with DNS servers, it is common practice to enter two WINS server addresses to provide a degree of fault tolerance.