Configuring the LAN interface

If you are planning to set up a small home network or connecting your Windows 7 machine to another computer you need to have an IPv4 standard or arrangement. Typically, you may have one computer connected to the Internet which provides Internet services to the other internal computers. Windows 7 can do this role through the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service.  Other services or devices such as, Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) in wireless networks or DSL and cable modem routers can too provide Internet services to the internal computers. On the other hand, if you are not planning to provide Internet services then you can avoid all the trouble and let the internal computers configure themselves through APIPA.

To configure the LAN interface of your Windows 7 computer go to Control Panel, click Network and Internet (if the Control Panel’s View by: is set to Small or Large icons then click Network and Sharing Center) and click Network and Sharing Center. Then click Change Adapter Settings and right-click the Local Area Connection adapter and select Properties.

Additionally, the Network and Sharing Center can be opened either by typing network in the Start search text box and select the Network and Sharing Center link or by right clicking the network system tray icon and select the Network and Sharing Center. In general, if you have more than one LAN adapter (network interface) they are enumerated or shown with the manufacturer’s name.

From the Local Area Connection Properties window select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) and click Properties. If you plan to set your network with automatic distribution of IP addresses such as DHCP services then under the General tab of the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) Properties window leave the default settings as shown below:

The default behavior of Windows 7 is to use APIPA if no DHCP services are found on the network. In fact, if you click the Alternate Configuration tab of the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) Properties window you will find this setting. Therefore, if your network has no DHCP services you need to configure the LAN adapters manually as follows:

  1. Click the Use the following IP address option
  2. Enter a private IP address and Subnet mask such as, and
  3. If your network does not provide DHCP services but has an Internet sharing device then enter the IP address of this device in the Default gateway field
  4. Similarly, if your network does not provide DNS services you can use the Internet sharing device IP address as your Preferred DNS server. The Alternate DNS server field can be left empty.

For the command line diehards, the netsh command-line tool comes to the rescue! To set an interface as a DHCP client that is, obtain an IP configuration automatically, from an elevated command prompt type:

Netsh interface ipv4 set address name=”local area connection” source=dhcp and

Netsh interface ipv4 set dnsservers name=”local area connection” source=dhcp

Where name= takes the name of the LAN interface enclosed in quotes.