Networking For Dummies, 8th Edition


by Doug Lowe




About the Author

Doug Lowe has written a whole bunch of computer books, including more than 40 For Dummies books (such as PowerPoint 2007 For Dummies, Word 2007 All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies, and Networking All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies). He lives in that sunny All-American city of Fresno, California, which isn’t nearly as close to San Francisco as most people think, with his wife and his youngest daughter (the other two have flown the coop), and a couple of crazy dogs. He manages the network for an engineering firm in Clovis, CA, and in his free time creates computer-controlled Halloween decorations that rival Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Maybe his next book should be Computer-Controlled Halloween Props For Dummies. (For pictures, check out his Web site at


To Debbie, Rebecca, Sarah, and Bethany.


Author’s Acknowledgments

The list of thank-yous for this book is long and goes back several years. I’d like to first thank John Kilcullen, David Solomon, Janna Custer, Erik Dafforn, Grag Robertson, and Ray Marshall for all of their help with the first edition. Those who worked on subsequent editions include Christopher Morris, Dan DiNicolo, Barry Childs-Helton, Tim Gallan, Mary Goodwin, Joe Salmeri, Jennifer Ehrlich, Constance Carlisle, Jamey L. Marcum, Jeanne S. Criswell, Ted Cains, Dana Lesh, Rebekah Mancilla, Becky Huehls, Amy Pettinella, Suzanne Thomas, Garret Pease, and Andrea Boucher. Each of these people made valuable contributions to the content, readability, and accuracy that have paved the way for the current edition.

Now, for the eighth edition, I’d like to thank project editor Pat O’Brien, who did a great job overseeing all the editorial work that was required to put this book together. I’d also like to thank Srinath Sitaraman, who gave the entire manuscript a thorough technical look-through, and copy editors Jen Riggs and Becky Whitney, who maid sure there whir know spelling hair ores. And, as always, thanks to all the behind-the-scenes people who chipped in with help I’m not even aware of.


Publisher’s Acknowledgments

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Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Pat O’Brien

Acquisitions Editor: Melody Layne

Copy Editor: Jennifer Riggs

Technical Editor: Srinath Sitaraman

Editorial Manager: Kevin Kirschner

Media Development Manager: Laura VanWinkle

Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth

Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Composition Services

Coordinator: Heather Kolter

Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers, Joyce Haughey, Stephanie D. Jumper, Barbara Moore, Laura Pence, Ronald Terry

Proofreaders: Aptara, Todd Lothery,Susan Moritz

Indexer: Aptara

Anniversary Logo Design: Richard Pacifico

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director

Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

Publishing for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher

Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director

Composition Services

Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services




About This Book

How to Use This Book

What You Don’t Need to Read

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I : Let’s Network!

Chapter 1: Networks Will Not Take Over the World, and Other Network Basics

What Is a Network?

Why Bother with a Network?

Servers and Clients

Dedicated Servers and Peers

What Makes a Network Tick?

It’s Not a Personal Computer Anymore!

The Network Administrator

What Have They Got That You Don’t Got?

Chapter 2: Life on the Network

Distinguishing between Local Resources and Network Resources

What’s in a Name?

Logging On to the Network

Understanding Shared Folders

Four Good Uses for a Shared Folder

Oh, the Network Places You’ll Go

Mapping Network Drives

Using a Network Printer

Logging Off the Network

Chapter 3: More Ways to Use Your Network

Sharing Your Stuff

Sharing a Folder

Using the Public Folder in Windows Vista

Sharing a Printer

Using Microsoft Office on a Network

Working with Offline Files

Part II : Building Your Own Network

Chapter 4: Planning Your Network

Making a Network Plan

Being Purposeful

Taking Stock

To Dedicate, or Not to Dedicate: That Is the Question

Looking at Different Types of Servers

Choosing a Server Operating System

Planning the Infrastructure

Drawing Diagrams

Sample Network Plans

Chapter 5: Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: Cables, Adapters, and Other Stuff

What Is Ethernet?

All about Cable

Hubs and Switches

Network Interface Cards

Other Network Devices

Chapter 6: Dealing with TCP/IP

Understanding Binary

Introducing IP Addresses

Classifying IP Addresses


Understanding Network Address Translation

Configuring Your Network for DHCP

Managing a Windows Server 2003 DHCP Server

Configuring a Windows DHCP Client

Using DNS

Working with the Windows DNS Server

Configuring a Windows DNS Client

Chapter 7: Setting Up a Server

Network Operating System Features

Understanding Windows Server 2003 Versions

Other Server Operating Systems

The Many Ways to Install a Network Operating System

Gathering Your Stuff

Making Informed Decisions

Making Final Preparations

Installing a Network Operating System

Life after Setup

Configuring Server Roles

Chapter 8: Configuring Windows XP and Vista Clients

Configuring Network Connections

Configuring Client Computer Identification

Configuring Network Logon

Chapter 9: Wireless Networking

Diving into Wireless Networking

A Little High School Electronics

Eight-Oh-Two-Dot-Eleventy Something? (Or, Understanding Wireless Standards)

Home on the Range

Wireless Network Adapters

Wireless Access Points


Configuring a Wireless Access Point

Configuring Windows for Wireless Networking

Part III : Getting Connected

Chapter 10: Connecting Your Network to the Internet

Connecting to the Internet

Securing Your Connection with a Firewall

Chapter 11: Running a Mail Server

Using the Exchange System Manager Console

Managing Mailboxes

Configuring Outlook for Exchange

Viewing Another Mailbox

Chapter 12: Creating an Intranet

What Is an Intranet?

What Do You Use an Intranet For?

What You Need to Set Up an Intranet

How to Set Up an IIS Web Server

How to Create a Simple Intranet Page

Managing IIS

Chapter 13: Is It a Phone or a Computer? (Or, Understanding VoIP and Convergence)

Understanding VoIP

Advantages of VoIP

Disadvantages of VoIP

Popular VoIP Providers

Chapter 14: Connecting from Home

Using Outlook Web Access

Using a Virtual Private Network

Part IV : Network Management For Dummies

Chapter 15: Welcome to Network Management

What a Network Administrator Does

Picking a Part-Time Administrator and Providing the Right Resources

Documenting the Network

Performing Routine Chores

Managing Network Users

Acquiring Software Tools for Network Administrators

Building a Library

Pursuing Certification

Chapter 16: Managing User Accounts with Active Directory

Basics of Windows User Accounts

Creating a New User

Setting User Properties

Resetting User Passwords

Disabling and Enabling User Accounts

Deleting a User

Working with Groups

Creating a Logon Script

Chapter 17: Managing Network Storage

Understanding Network Storage

Understanding Permissions

Understanding Shares

Configuring the File Server Role

Managing Your File Server

Chapter 18: Network Performance Anxiety

Why Administrators Hate Performance Problems

What Exactly Is a Bottleneck?

The Five Most Common Network Bottlenecks

Tune Your Network the Compulsive Way

Monitor Network Performance

Creating Performance Logs

More Performance Tips

Chapter 19: Solving Network Problems

When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers

How to Fix Dead Computers

Ways to Check a Network Connection

A Bunch of Error Messages Just Flew By!

Double-Check Your Network Settings

Time to Experiment

Who’s on First

How to Restart a Client Computer

How to Restart Network Services

How to Restart a Network Server

Look at Event Logs

Document Your Trials and Tribulations

Chapter 20: How to Stay on Top of Your Network and Keep Its Users Off Your Back

Train Your Users

Organize a Library

Keep Up with the Computer Industry

Remember That the Guru Needs a Guru

Spew Helpful Bluffs and Excuses

Part V : Protecting Your Network

Chapter 21: Backing Up Your Data

Backing Up Your Data

All about Tapes and Tape Drives

Backup Software

Types of Backups

Local versus Network Backups

How Many Sets of Backups Should You Keep?

A Word about Tape Reliability

About Cleaning the Heads

Backup Security

Chapter 22: Securing Your Network

Do You Need Security?

Two Approaches to Security

Physical Security: Locking Your Doors

Securing User Accounts

Managing User Security

Securing Your Users

Chapter 23: Hardening Your Network


The Many Types of Firewalls

The Built-In Firewall in Windows XP and Windows Vista

Virus Protection

Patching Things Up

Part VI : Beyond Windows

Chapter 24: Networking with Linux

Comparing Linux with Windows

Choosing a Linux Distribution

Installing Linux

On Again, Off Again


Getting to a Command Shell

Managing User Accounts

Network Configuration

Doing the Samba Dance

Chapter 25: Macintosh Networking

What You Need to Know to Hook Up a Macintosh Network

What You Need to Know to Use a Macintosh Network

What You Need to Know to Network Macintoshes with PCs

Part VII : The Part of Tens

Chapter 26: More Than Ten Big Network Mistakes

Skimping on Cable

Turning Off or Restarting a Server Computer While Users Are Logged On

Deleting Important Files on the Server

Copying a File from the Server, Changing It, and Then Copying It Back

Sending Something to the Printer Again Just Because It Didn’t Print the First Time

Assuming That the Server Is Safely Backed Up

Connecting to the Internet without Considering Security Issues

Plugging In a Wireless Access Point without Asking

Thinking You Can’t Work Just Because the Network Is Down

Running Out of Space on a Server

Always Blaming the Network

Chapter 27: Ten Networking Commandments

I. Thou Shalt Back Up Thy Hard Drive Religiously

II. Thou Shalt Protect Thy Network from Infidels

III. Thou Shalt Keepeth Thy Network Drive Pure and Cleanse It of Old Files

IV. Thou Shalt Not Tinker with Thine Network Configuration Unless Thou Knowest What Thou Art Doing

V. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Network

VI. Thou Shalt Schedule Downtime before Working upon Thy Network

VII. Thou Shalt Keep an Adequate Supply of Spare Parts

VIII. Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Neighbor’s Program without a License

IX. Thou Shalt Train Thy Users in the Ways of the Network

X. Thou Shalt Write Down Thy Network Configuration upon Tablets of Stone

Chapter 28: Ten Things You Should Keep in Your Closet

Duct Tape


Patch Cables

Cable Ties


Extra Network Cards

Cheap Network Switches

The Complete Documentation of the Network on Tablets of Stone

The Network Manuals and Disks

Ten Copies of This Book

Chapter 29: Layers of the OSI Model

Layer 1: The Physical Layer

Layer 2: The Data Link Layer

Layer 3: The Network Layer

Layer 4: The Transport Layer

Layer 4a: The Lemon-Pudding Layer

Layer 5: The Session Layer

Layer 6: The Presentation Layer

Layer 7: The Application Layer

: Further Reading