Windows 7 retains the same command-line tools of its predecessors for troubleshooting IP configurations. The most basic tools are the Ping and Ipconfig utilities which help you determine your system’s IP configuration and test connectivity. There are more advanced network tools such as, Tracert or Pathping, Nslookup for DNS related issues, etc. These help you troubleshoot advanced network related issues but this article will only cover the basic command-line tools which are adequate for the Windows 7 average users.
You can view the IP configuration of your computer by using either the command-line tools Ipconfig or Netsh, or by using the Network and Sharing Center. The command-line tools display your computers’ network adapters IP settings including IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, subnet masks and the default gateway.
An IP address identifies a computer in a network and hence, each computer must have a unique address within the same network. Private IP addresses are used for internal networks while public addresses are used for the Internet. Since there are not enough public IP addresses to be allocated for every internal device, we use private addresses internally and use NAT to translate these addresses to a public address. An organization or individual that needs Internet access is allocated one or more public IP addresses through various agencies worldwide that are responsible for the distribution of public IP addresses.
Before dealing with network configurations and troubleshoot network problems, it is important to have an understanding of the basic Network Services available in Windows 7. Network services such as, DHCP, DNS, APIPA and NAT are important network features that enable your computer to communicate with others. IPv4 configuration and operation relies on these services, which include: