Local and Remote Network Connections

A local area connection is automatically created for each network adapter in your computer that is detected by the Plug and Play service. After a card is physically installed, it is detected by the Plug and Play service. Network and Dial-up Connections enumerates the adapter and populates the Network and Dial-up Connections folder with a local area connection. Because local area connections are dependent upon a network card being recognized in the computer, they cannot be created by using Make New Connection .

For the adapter to be detected and the connection created, the Plug and Play service, Network and Dial-up Connections service, and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services must be started. All of these services start automatically, no user interaction is required.

If a local area connection does not appear in the Network and Dial-up Connections, there might be several reasons:

  • The network adapter was removed. (A local area connection only appears if an adapter is detected.)

  • The installed network adapter is malfunctioning.

  • If your network adapter is a legacy adapter that is not detected by the Add New Hardware wizard or the Plug and Play service, then you might need to set up the adapter manually in Device Manager before you see a local area connection in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder.

  • If the driver is not recognized, the adapter appears in Device Manager but you cannot see a local area connection.

If your network adapter driver needs to be updated, use the Update Driver feature in the adapters properties.

If your computer has one network adapter, but you need to connect to multiple LANs (for example, when traveling to a regional office), your local area connection network components need to be reconfigured each time you connect to a different LAN. However, you do not need to restart when you change TCP/IP or other connection settings.



Use the network adapters that are listed in the Hardware Compatibility List link on the Web Resources page at http://windows.microsoft.com/windows2000/reskit/webresources .

Also, use network adapter drivers that are supported by Windows 2000 Professional.

Clients, Services, and Protocols

By default, the following clients, services, and protocols are installed by default with a local area connection:

  • Clients: Client for Microsoft Networks (allows you to access file and print shares of other Windows computers).

  • Services: File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks (allows you to share your own computer resources).

  • Protocols: TCP/IP, with automatic addressing enabled.

Any other clients, services, and protocols, including Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX), must be installed separately.

To configure TCP/IP for a local area connection

  1. In Network and Dial-up Connections , shown in Figure 21.9, right-click the local area connection, and then click Properties . Cc977313.prcg_13(en-us,TechNet.10).gif
    Figure 21.9 Network and Dial-up Connections

  2. In Local Area Connection Properties , shown in Figure 21.10, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) , and then click Properties . Cc977313.prcg_14(en-us,TechNet.10).gif
    Figure 21.10 Local Area Connection Properties

  3. Do one of the following:

  • If you want IP settings to be assigned automatically, click Obtain an IP address automatically , and then click OK .

  • If you want to specify an IP address or a DNS server address, do the following in the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 21.11:

    • Click Use the following IP address , and in the IP address field, type the IP address.

    • Click Use the following DNS server addresses , and in Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server , type the IP addresses of the preferred and alternate DNS servers.

    Figure 21.11 Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties

  1. To configure advanced TCP/IP options, such as multiple DNS server addresses, WINS addresses, and other options, click Advanced .

Whenever possible, use automated TCP/IP settings, such as automatic addressing, for the following reasons:

  • Automatic addressing is enabled by default.

  • If your location changes, you do not have to modify your IP settings.

  • Automated IP settings are used for all connections, and they eliminate the need to configure settings such as DNS, WINS, and so on.

Limiting Protocols to Enhance Network Performance

Limiting the number of protocols on your computer enhances network performance and reduces network traffic. Windows 2000 attempts to establish connectivity by using every network protocol that is installed. By only installing and enabling the protocols that your system can use, Windows 2000 does not attempt to connect with additional protocols and creates connections more efficiently.

Local Area Connection Status

Like other connections, the appearance of the local area connection icon changes according to the status of the connection. The icon appears in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder, or if the network cable is disconnected, an additional icon appears in the taskbar. By design, if a network adapter is not detected by your computer, a local area connection icon does not appear in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder. Table 21.4 describes the different local area connection icons.

Table 21.4 Local Area Connection icons






The local area connection is active.

Network and Dial-up Connections folder



The cable is unplugged from your computer, or from the wall or hub.

Network and Dial-up Connections folder



The cable is unplugged from your computer, or from the wall or hub.




The driver is disabled.

Network and Dial-up Connections folder


The network adapter was not detected.

No icon appears in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder

To view the status of a local area connection

  1. Right-click the local area connection, and then click Status .

  2. To automatically enable the Status monitor each time the connection is active, right-click the local area connection, click Properties , and then select the Show icon in taskbar when connected check box. By default, the Status monitor is disabled for local area connections, but enabled for all other types of connections.

WAN Adapters

Permanent connection WAN adapters such as T1, Frame Relay, and ATM, also appear in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder as local area connections. For these adapters, some settings are autodetected, and some need to be configured. For example, for a Frame Relay adapter, the appropriate management protocol, Committed Information Rates (CIR), Data Link Connection Identifiers (DLCIs), and line signaling, must be configured. For these settings, refer to the product documentation included with the adapter or contact the manufacturer. Defaults might vary according to the adapter.