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  #1  
Old 06-04-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 19
How to Troubleshoot your Local Area Network

Here is a practical way of protection your LAN from various flaws and issues. I had created some basic ready to uset tips which can help you to fix various lan issues. There are number of problems that comes in between when your working on your home or office network. Lan is the most best way to share files, to share printers, share internet, etc. There are other more purposes which makes LAN an need for all system. My tips on based on TCP/IP protocol which is widely used on Windows and other platform.

They are easy to configure and manage. You does not need to have a very advance knowledge about the same. Troubleshooting simply means finding out what is the issue in your network and then fixing the same out with some basic help. If you have basic knowledge on LAN, network setting, router settings, etc then that is more than enough to get help from this article.

There is always sometime a issue on LAN and many of us do not really know what to do on that. Some of use dedicated network professional which keeps monitoring the service and troubleshoot th problem. But remember that Windows LAN setup is extremely easy. There is no issue if you have a server also on your LAN. There are certain tools which are very much functional and providing better information on the current situation of your network. A LAN can be prone to various issues like, virus attack, sniffing, malware, etc. To avoid that we use an Firewall or an Antivirus program to on the network to get rid of the same. The first basic thing you must know that you must always use an LAN Monitoring tool which analyzes your network packets. There are ample of LAN analyzer tool that can help you to understand what is going on your network.

This are called as Protocol Analyzer. They provide ample of LAN Troubleshooting help. But those are basically recommended to work over TCP/IP networks. Sometime this can be tricky a bit because there can be some issue which is hard to understand by a common user. The entire scenario here is set around the IP addresses of network computers. You might aware how a LAN network looks like. First you have router, then you have a network switch and then you have number of pc. The router connects to the switch. The computers are connected to the Switch and all are online on a single user. A Network switch lets you to configure more systems at one time and provide a common platform for all. Now when you set your TCP/IP settings on Automatic then the router and your operating system decides some default set of IP Addresses to all the system.

An IP Address is an different address of each system. The router then balances the Internet bandwidth via switch and diverts the same to all. But if you are putting an IP address manually and if you duplicate the same then you can see a error popping up saying that there can be an IP Conflict. Better set the same to automatic.To understand on what does the network errors are dependent have a look below.
Common Network Problems :
  • Misconfigured IP
  • Misconfigured Network
  • Wrong Domain Setup
  • Wrong Workgroup Setup
  • Non-Optimized Network Devices
  • Network Cable Problem
  • Bad LAN Card / LAN Card Drive issue
  • Virus Attack
  • Firewall Issue
  • DNS/DHCP Errors
  • Proxy Issue
  • Slow Network Server and many more.

This are just the basic things which I am talking about. You can divide the same to hardware and software and get a bigger list. Now the question here is why does the Network or LAN error arises. First you must be aware about your LAN entirely. You must know the design and the systems of how your Network works. You must also know about the User Access Rights and any other major configuration that is needed on the Network. This will make your job a much more easier one. I always keep a document of my LAN, a hard copy plus the design which lets me to reach directly the problematic system. Now as you go below you will get common issues of LAN and some troubleshooting tips. Read them and carry of copy with you. You can use these to diagnose a number of problems one by one.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 19
Re: How to Troubleshoot your Local Area Network

Various Connection errors

I always face a limited or no connectivity issue on my system and at first that was frustrating. The later I found that this was because of the server settings. I share my network from a domain. Here are some connectivity errors that are most commonly occur for LAN.
  • The first thing you have to add under this list is that you must have a similar class IP for all the systems. The same is then properly associated with the Subnet mask. Then your entire lan computers much have common network settings. Any changes can result to an error.
  • You have to check properly in every system that your system got a proper gateway address. This must be common for all the computers. The gateway is the router from where your system access internet or network. That must not be wrong.
  • Checked all the lan connectors that you have on the network are tightly crimped and attached to the LAN as well to the switch or hub. It is very important because wrong crimping is the major cause of LAN errors.
  • After a connection go to the switch and see that there is a light blinking for each corresponding system. If not then that system has not got access to the connection.
  • Check Proxy Settings again and again. It is necessary and then check your firewall. Firewall will block unknown incoming connections. It is for your lan security. Do not disable it but manually configure all systems under it.
  • The very best way to check whether the connection is live or not you can use PING command. Try ping "IP of System or Router " to check that you are getting response or not.
Various LAN Security Problems

For an office network we prefer to add a powerful Firewall of an Antivirus security suite which reads the network and check for malicious activity. But if you are implementing any kind of Security Mechanism check properly that you had configured all the system properly. You have to manually verify all policies and methods that are on your LAN.

There are just basic tips to keep away your LAN from Virus:
  • Always update your Antivirus. Use a server level Antivirus which can run a auto update for all client systems. Do not forget to run any update or patch for your operating system.
  • Run a scan everyday to check for threats.
  • Do not forget to define Internet Access rules for the users. This is much more important if you are behind a proxy server.
  • For an security of the LAN use Password. Use a better password which is not easily available. Also configure security policies on you server.
  • The most basic way to avoid application errors or blue screen errors is cleaning your Windows Registry every day with an powerful registry cleaner. This is for server and it initiates a smooth working of the operating system.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 19
Re: How to Troubleshoot your Local Area Network

How to Improve Performance of systems on LAN

Here are some tips that can help you to improve the performance of LAN over the time. First of all you mus know that when you install a antivirus or implement major security policies over a server then your server becomes much slower. So it is recommended not to install much applications and other software on the server. The server becomes slow due to various reasons like low ram, applications, faulty hardware, monitoring tools, etc. Here are some tips that let you to improve the performance of your LAN.
  • First you must remove all unnecessary networks from your system. Create a single one and connect all systems to it. Do not use multiple network, it affects your bandwidth.
  • Try to divide your network in subnets. This is sometime very much helpful when there are large number of systems. It balances the load to different systems evenly and increase the performance.
  • Try to wipe browser history and coolies. Run some disk cleanup type tool again and again for better surfing speed.
  • For an server it is better to have a higher hardware configuration. Do not use low hardware. The more ram you have the better server works.
  • Remove all unnecessary applications, software's, themes, etc from the system to increase the performance.
  • If you are going to work for an proxy then better configure the Proxy Server separately. The same is also applicable for an Print Server and for an Gateway computer. This is because the load is divided to different server and things work properly.
  • Always use the most latest hardware on your network.

Common Tips for All
  • Provide an different name to each computer like Comp 1, Comp 2. Do not repeat the names.
  • Do not forget to define your work group and computer name properly. This is important.
  • Remember that in each and every system there must be TCP/IP must be available.
  • Define the IP and Subet for each system properly without mistake.
  • If you are sharing files and printers then remember that you must configure the settings properly so that all can access the same.
  • For the start when your are first time configuring the LAN remember to disable Firewall for sometime.
How to repair a LAN Connection

This the first easy way to fix any network. But there is a issue with this. I will discuss that later. First when you get a popup on your screen that no connection or any limited connectivity then you have to just right click on that and click on Repair. Windows will automatically fix the network issue. But if your lan an Server and network is connected to a domain then you will need to manually assign each system rights to repair a network connection. Otherwise only Admin Login can solve the issue. The other way is to restart the computer.

How to solve no Internet Connection issue
  • When a system is not able to connect to the Internet then here are some tips that can help you to troubleshoot it. First you have to check the IP Address of each computer.
  • Sometime there is clash between similar IP Address on the LAN. Check the network cable and re-crimp the same if needed. Check your system for virus and spyware. If found act on the threat instantly. If the system is on proxy then it is possible that the Proxy might be blocking the same. Check your browser settings.
  • Here are some lan troubleshooting software that are widely used to troubleshoot a lan network. They are Ping, IPconfig, Tracert, Hostname, Route, Net and ARP
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