If you have problems with your home network, follow the steps in this article to help isolate and troubleshoot the configuration of your home network’s basic connectivity, and file and printer sharing. First, try to isolate and resolve the issue by using the steps in the “How to troubleshoot a home network issue” section.
How to Troubleshoot a home network issue
Note You may have to know the kind of network structure that you are using to complete these steps. If you are not sure, go to the “Home-network structures and their configurations” section.
To troubleshoot a home network issue, use the Windows XP Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter in Help and Support Center to try to isolate and resolve the issue. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
- Under Pick a Help Topic, click Networking and the Web.
- Under Networking and the Web, click Fixing networking or Web problems, and then click Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter.
- Answer the questions in the troubleshooter to try to find a solution.
If the troubleshooter resolves the issue, you are finished.
If the troubleshooter does not resolve the issue, determine your home-network structure in the “Home-network structures and their configurations” section, and then follow the steps in the “Advanced Troubleshooting” section.
Home-network structures and their configurations
Before you troubleshoot home networking issues, first determine the network structure you are using. The network structure is the arrangement or mapping of network elements such as links and nodes, and the physical connections between them. There are several common home-network structures:
Computers that are connected to a NAT device
The computers are connected to a NAT device that provides a single, shared Internet connection. A hardware network address translation (NAT) device is a broadband or satellite modem that enables the computers to obtain and share a single connection to the Internet. In this configuration, the computers generally receive an IP address from the NAT device. Typically, the NAT device uses the address 192.168.0.1 and assigns addresses to other computers in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
Computers that are connected to a network hub
A network hub receives data through one port, and then makes it available to all ports. This enables data sharing or Internet connection between all computers that are connected to the hub. Computers that are connected to a network hub can have many configurations:
- The computers have no Internet connection. In this configuration, the computers are generally assigned IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y, where x and y are numbers between 1 and 254.
- The computers are connected to a hub, where only one computer has Internet connection shared by using Internet Connection Sharing.This connection can be a dial-up connection or a broadband connection (typically xDSL or a cable modem). In this configuration, the computer that shares the connection generally assigns IP addresses to other computers on the home network. The computer that is sharing the connection will have IP address 192.168.0.1 configured for the adapter that is connected to the home network. Other computers on the network will have addresses in the range 192.168.0.x, where x is a number between 2 and 254.
- The computers are connected to the Internet through a broadband connection. This configuration is also known as an edgeless network.
In this configuration, the computers on the home network each have an IP address that is provided by the Internet service provider (ISP). The addresses that are used vary, depending on the ISP.
- The computers each have a separate dial-up connection or broadband connection to the Internet.
In this configuration, the computers generally use automatically assigned IP addresses for their home network adapters. Typically, the network adapters assign IP addresses in the range of 169.254.x.y, where x and y are numbers between 1 and 254. The computers use ISP-provided addresses for their Internet connections.
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