Networking / Beginners

Working with Network And Sharing Center

Network And Sharing Center provides the current network status as well as an overview of the current network configuration. You can access Network And Sharing Center by following these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Network.
  2. In Network Explorer, click Network And Sharing Center on the toolbar.

Network And Sharing Center has three main areas:

  • Summary network map Provides a graphical depiction of the network configuration and connections. A normal status is indicated by a line connecting the various network segments. Any problems with the network configuration or connections are depicted with warning icons. A yellow warning icon indicates a possible configuration issue. A red X indicates a lack of a connection for a particular network segment. The computer has a connection to the network but doesn't have a connection to the Internet. Clicking View Full Map opens Network Map, which displays an expanded network view as discussed in the "Working with Network Map" section of this tutorial.
  • Network details Lists the current network by name and provides an overview of the network. The value in parentheses following the network name shows the category of the current network as Domain Network, Private Network, or Public Network. The Access field specifies whether and how the computer is connected to its current network as Local only, Local And Internet, or Internet only. The Connection field shows the name of the local area connection being used to connect to the current network. If you click Customize, you can change the network name, network category (for a private or public network only), and network icon. If you click View Status, you can display the Status dialog box for the local area connection.
  • Sharing and discovery Provides the options for configuring the computer's sharing and discovery settings and lists the current state of each option. To manage an option, expand the option's view panel by clicking the Expand button (showing a down arrow), clicking the desired setting, and then clicking Apply. To turn on or turn off network discovery, expand Network Discovery, click Turn On Network Discovery or Turn Off Network Discovery as appropriate, and then click Apply.

From Network And Sharing Center, you can attempt to diagnose a warning status. To do this, click the warning icon to start Windows Network Diagnostics. Windows Network Diagnostics will then attempt to identify the network problem and provide a possible solution.

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