Protocol-Specific Issues

You need to consider a number of factors related to network protocols when you troubleshoot a client connectivity. The following list describes some of the protocol-specific issues you should consider in such a situation:

  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) For a system to operate on a TCP/IP-based network, it must have at the very least a unique IP address, the correct subnet mask for the network to which it is connected, and (for cross-network connectivity) a default gateway entry. In addition, Domain Name Service (DNS) server addresses might be required.

  • Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) Each system on an IPX/SPX network must have a unique address, although the addresses are generated and assigned automatically. On older networks, care must be taken to ensure that the correct frame type is being used, although systems are usually able to autodetect the frame type that is in use.

  • Network BIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI) Each system on a network that uses NetBEUI must have a unique name to identify the computer on the network. For name resolution between network segments, a network needs either a Windows Internet Naming System (WINS) server or manual name resolution through an LMHOSTS file.

  • AppleTalk Each system on an AppleTalk network must have a unique address. If AppleTalk over TCP/IP is being used, ensure that the system is configured with a valid IP address, subnet mask, and (if needed) a default gateway.

When protocol settings are correctly configured, protocol problems are infrequent. Unless settings are manually changed, very little can go wrong.