A+ Certification / Beginners


Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) is Novell's native protocol and has been used on large networks since its design. IPX/SPX is a routable protocol, meaning that the data it delivers can move from one network to another. Because the Internet is so popular, even Novell networks today don't run IPX/SPX but run TCP/IP instead (see the following section for information about TCP/IP).

Microsoft operating systems have their own implementation of IPX/SPX, known as NWLink, and you will want to install it if your computers communicate with Novell servers on the network.

Like NetBEUI, there is not a lot of configuration to IPX/SPX, but one very important property of this protocol is the frame type. The frame type is the type of "envelope" that is used to deliver the information from one computer to another computer on the network. Different envelopes have different characteristics, and you need to make sure that everyone is using the same type of envelope on the network - meaning that if you are running IPX/SPX, you need to ensure that you are running the same frame type on the client as on the Novell servers.

Windows operating systems can autodetect the frame type that is running on the network, which is usually first set by the Novell server. Although autodetect generally works out fine, it is important that you know how to install IPX/SPX and configure the frame type. The big question is, what frame type do you use? The answer is probably whatever is set on the Novell server, but you should ask the network administrator. Popular frame types are 802.2, 802.3, and Ethernet II. You will not need to worry about the frame types, but be aware that the frame type must match that of the Novell server. For example, if the server is using 802.3 then the client computers must be configured for 802.3.

The following steps walk you through installing NWLink (IPX/SPX) on Windows 2000 and Windows XP and demonstrate how to set the frame type:

  1. If you're using Windows 2000, choose Start → Settings → Control Panel → Network and Dial Up Connections. If you're using Windows XP/2003, choose Start → Control Panel → Network and Internet Connections → Network Connections.
  2. Right-click your local area connection and choose Properties.
  3. Click the Install button.
  4. Select Protocol in the network component list and then click Add.
  5. Select NWLink and click OK.
  6. When the NWLink protocol is in the list of network components used by the connection, select the NWLink IPX/SPX protocol (not NWLink NetBIOS) and click Properties to change the frame type.
  7. Change the frame type setting from Auto to the value used by your IPX network.
    For example, if you know that your Novell servers use 802.2, select 802.2 from the list. Check with your network administrator to find out what frame type your Novell servers use.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the hot protocol on the market these days because it is the protocol of the Internet and Internet-based technologies. TCP/IP has become the protocol of choice for Windows, Linux, and Novell networks because of its ability to communicate in heterogeneous environments. The bottom line is this: It doesn't matter what kind of operating system you are running - if you're running TCP/IP, you have the ability to communicate globally.

TCP/IP is known as a protocol suite. Protocol suites are like application suites in the sense that there is more than one protocol in the group. For example, if you purchase the Microsoft Office suite, you purchase an entire group of applications, or an entire suite of applications. TCP/IP is a group of protocols that make up the protocol suite, and some of these protocols are used day in and day out. For example, adding the TCP/IP protocol suite to your computer means that you have a telnet application for running applications from another computer, and you have an FTP application for downloading files from another computer.

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