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In case you're interested, here's some technical info on network protocols straight from the Microsoft Resource Kit.

Technical Stuff

The information below is not necessary to read!  It is only provided for those who want to see what the resource kit offers, or for those that like to read techno-babble :-)

From the Win98 Resource Kit by Microsoft

Microsoft TCP/IP Protocol

Microsoft Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) provides communication across interconnected networks that use diverse hardware architectures and various operating systems. TCP/IP can be used to communicate with computers running Windows 98, with devices using other Microsoft networking products, or with non-Microsoft systems such as UNIX.

Microsoft TCP/IP in Windows 98 extends the functionality that Microsoft TCP/IP offered in Windows 95. In Windows 95, Microsoft TCP/IP provided the following elements:

With Windows 98, the following enhancements are added:

Understanding IP Addressing

Each workstation needs an IP address to communicate on a TCP/IP network such as the corporate network or the global public Internet. The section “Configuring IP Addresses” later in this chapter describes IP addresses in more detail, but for now it is just important to understand that there are two kinds of IP addresses, globally unique IP addresses and private IP addresses.

Depending on your needs, you can use either private IP addresses or globally unique IP addresses for each workstation. You could also use both a private IP address and a globally unique IP address if you have a multihomed computer (a computer that has two different adapters, each connected to a different network). For example, a workstation could be connected both to the corporate network (using an adapter that is configured with a private IP address) and to the Internet (using a dial-up adapter that is configured with a globally unique IP address). For information about multihoming and this type of special configuration, see the section “Configuring Multihoming” later in this chapter.

Regardless of the type of IP address you choose, you have two options for configuring the IP addresses:

Configuring IP Addresses

Every computer on a TCP/IP network is identified by a unique 32-bit IP address, which also specifies routing information in an internetwork. An IP address looks like this:

This is referred to as dotted decimal notation, with each eight bits of an IP address (called an octet) separated from the next eight bits by a period. An IP address is a single value that contains two pieces of information:

Each host on the network uses the network ID and host ID to determine which packets it should receive or ignore, and to determine the scope of its transmissions (only hosts with the same network ID accept each other’s IP-level broadcasts).

The Internet community uses address classes to differentiate networks of various sizes. The network class can be determined from the first octet of its IP address. Table 15.1 summarizes the relationship between the first octet of an IP address and its network ID and host ID, using w.x.y.z. to designate the four octets of the IP address. As Table 15.1 shows, the value of the first octet determines which portion of the IP address will be the network ID and which portion will be the host ID.

For example, the first octet of the sample IP address is 172. The w values portion of Table 15.1 shows that if the first octet has a value of 128-191, it is a Class B address. Thus, the sample IP address is a Class B address. Its first octet (172) is the network ID, and the remaining octets (16.34.1) are its host ID.


The sample IP addresses used in this chapter are private IP addresses, not IP addresses that are valid on the global Internet.

The table also identifies the total number of network IDs and host IDs for each address class that participates in the Internet addressing scheme.

Table 15.1 IP address classes


w values1, 2

Network ID

Host ID
Available networks Available hosts per net
A 1–126 w x.y.z 126 16,777,214
B 128–191 w.x y.z 16,384 65,534
C 192–223 w.x.y z 2,097,151 254
1 Inclusive range for the first octet in the IP address.

1 The address 127 is reserved for loopback testing and interprocess communication on the local computer; it is not a valid network address. Addresses 224 and above are reserved for special protocols (IGMP multicasting and others), and cannot be used as host addresses.

Because the sender’s IP address is included in every outgoing IP packet, the receiving computer can derive the originating network ID and host ID from the IP address field. This is done by using subnet masks, which are 32-bit values that allow the recipient of IP packets to distinguish the network ID and host ID portions of the IP address.

The value of a subnet mask can also be represented in dotted decimal notation. Subnet masks are determined by assigning ones to bits that belong to the network ID and zeroes to bits that belong to the host ID. When the bits are in place, the 32-bit value is converted to dotted decimal notation, as shown in Table 15.2.

Table 15.2 Default subnet masks for standard IP address classes

Address class Bits for subnet mask Subnet mask
Class A 11111111 00000000 00000000 00000000
Class B 11111111 11111111 00000000 00000000
Class C 11111111 11111111 11111111 00000000

The result allows TCP/IP to determine the host ID and network ID of the local computer. For example, if the IP address is and the subnet mask is, then the network ID is 172.16 and the host ID is 34.1.

Subnet masks are also used to further segment an assigned network ID among several local networks. For example, a network using the Class B network address 10.100 is one of over 16,000 Class B addresses capable of serving more than 65,000 nodes each. But if this corporate network includes 12 international LANs with 75 to 100 nodes each, it is better to use subnetting to make effective use of 10.100 than to apply for 11 more network IDs. In this case, the third octet of the IP address can be used as a subnet ID, using the subnet mask, which splits this Class B address into 254 subnets: 10.100.1 through 10.100.254, each of which can have 254 nodes. Any of these network addresses could be assigned to the 12 international LANs in this example. Within each LAN, each computer is assigned a unique host ID, and they all have the subnet mask


All systems connected to the same local area network must have the same subnet mask.

Host IDs 0 and 255 should not be assigned to a computer; they are used as broadcast addresses that are typically recognized by all computers.

Windows 98 provides three methods of IP addressing:


Microsoft NetBEUI Protocol

Windows 98 provides the NetBIOS extended user interface (NetBEUI) protocol for compatibility with existing networks that use NetBEUI. Because NetBEUI is nonroutable and was designed for smaller LANs, you should use the TCP/IP or IPX/SPX-compatible protocol for enterprise-wide networks that require a routable protocol.

NetBEUI in Windows 98 provides two types of traffic:

  1. Unreliable connectionless traffic, in which the sender sends packets to the receiver without setting up a connection and with no guarantee that the packets will arrive. NetBEUI connectionless traffic are used for name resolution, datagrams, and miscellaneous traffic.
  2. Reliable connection-oriented traffic, in which the sender and receiver establish a reliable connection before sending data. NetBEUI connection oriented traffic is used for commands such as net use, net view, and net start.

NetBEUI in Windows 98 supports a NetBIOS programming interface that conforms to the IBM NetBEUI specifications and includes several performance enhancements. The NetBEUI module, Netbeui.vxd, is accessible through the NetBIOS interface.

If Windows 98 Setup detects NetBEUI during installation, it installs support for Microsoft NetBEUI automatically. If you are upgrading from a computer that did not have NetBEUI, Windows 98 does not automatically install it; however, you can add it at any time.

To install NetBEUI

  1. In Control Panel, double-click Network.
  2. On the Configuration tab, click Add.
  3. In the Select Network Component Type dialog box, click Protocol, and then click the Add button.
  4. In Manufacturers, click Microsoft, and then in Network Protocols, click NetBEUI, and then click OK.
  5. Click OK. Setup copies files from your original installation media and prompts you to restart your computer.

The Advanced properties for NetBEUI affect only real-mode NetBEUI. These values are set dynamically for protected-mode NetBEUI.

To configure real-mode NetBEUI manually

  1. In Control Panel, double-click Network.
  2. On the Configuration tab, double-click the instance of NetBEUI that is bound to your network adapter.


    If your computer has multiple network adapters, an instance of NetBEUI appears for each network adapter. You must configure each adapter with its own settings.

    The Bindings tab shows which clients and services are currently using the NetBEUI protocol. For information about configuring bindings, see “Configuring Network Adapters” later in this chapter.

  3. Click the Advanced tab to modify settings for Maximum Sessions and NCBs for the real-mode NetBEUI. The following list outlines the options in NetBEUI advanced configuration.
Option Description
Maximum Sessions Used to identify the maximum number of connections to remote computers that can be supported from the redirector. This is equivalent to the sessions= parameter formerly specified in Protocol.ini.
NCBs (network control blocks) Used to identify the maximum number of NetBIOS commands that can be used. This is equivalent to the ncbs= parameter formerly specified in Protocol.ini.

  1. Click OK. Then shut down and restart the computer.


IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol

The Microsoft Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) – compatible protocol (nwlink.vxd) supports the 32-bit Windows Sockets 1.1 programming interface, so that any Win32-based Windows Sockets 1.1 application can run on IPX/SPX with Windows 98. (There are no 16-bit Windows Sockets applications using IPX/SPX.)

The IPX/SPX-compatible protocol can be used by Client for NetWare Networks to communicate with NetWare servers or computers running File and Printer Sharing for NetWare Networks.

This protocol can also be used by Client for Microsoft Networks to communicate with computers running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 or Windows NT that are also running IPX/SPX.

The IPX/SPX-compatible protocol uses the nwnblink.vxd module to support computers that use NetBIOS over IPX and to support the NetBIOS programming interface. This protocol can also use NetWare servers configured as routers (and other IPX routers) to transfer packets across LANs.

Configuring the IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol

The Microsoft IPX/SPX – compatible protocol is installed automatically when Client for NetWare Networks is installed. You can also install this protocol to support other network clients, including Client for Microsoft Networks.

To install the IPX/SPX-compatible protocol

  1. In Control Panel, double-click Network, and then click Add.
  2. In the Select Network Component Type dialog box, click Protocol and then click the Add button.
  3. In Manufacturers, click Microsoft, and then in Network Protocols, click IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol, and then click OK.
  4. Click OK. Setup copies the files you need.

When you install the IPX/SPX-compatible protocol, Windows 98 automatically detects and sets appropriate values for the frame type, network address, and other settings. However, in some cases you might need to configure settings for this protocol manually.

To configure the IPX/SPX-compatible protocol

  1. In Control Panel, double-click Network.
  2. Double-click the instance of IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol that is bound to your network adapter.


    If the computer has multiple network adapters, the list will contain an instance of the IPX/SPX-compatible protocol for each network adapter. You must configure each adapter with its own settings. You can only have four instances of IPX/SPX on your system, so if you have more than four adapters are installed, you should bind IPX/SPX only to the adapters that will use this protocol.

  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Most values have correct defaults in typical installations. If you need to change a value for a particular purpose, select the item in the Property list and specify a setting in the Value list based on the information in the Table 15.10.

Table 15.10 IPX/SPX configuration values

Property Value
Force even-length IPX packets Enabled only for Ethernet 802.3 on monolithic implementations that cannot handle odd-length packets.
Frame type1 Specifies the frame type based on detection. This value is used for network adapters that support multiple frame types. The possible values are:

Auto-detect (recommended)

Ethernet 802.2 (default for NetWare 3.12 and later)

Ethernet 802.3

Ethernet II


Token-ring Subnetwork Access Protocol (SNAP)

Maximum connections Specifies the maximum number of connections that IPX will allow. Configured dynamically.
Maximum sockets Specifies the maximum number of IPX sockets that IPX assigns. Configured dynamically.
Network address Specifies the IPX network address as a four-byte value. Configured dynamically.
Source routing2 Specifies the cache size to use with source routing. This parameter is used only on token-ring networks, where it is used to turn on source routing.

Important Cache size is specified by entry count, not byte count. The recommended value of 16 entries is the most efficient and best setting for most installations.

1 Each time the computer starts, Windows 98 detects the frame type by sending a general RIP request in each frame format. Based on the responses received from routers, Windows 98 determines the most prevalent frame type used and sets that as the default frame type.

2 Source routing is a method of routing data across bridges. For NetWare networks, this means forwarding NetWare frames across an IBM token-ring bridge. With NDIS protocols, source routing is done by the protocol. With ODI-based protocols, source routing is configured with the network adapter driver or using the NetWare route.com utility.

You should not need to change bindings in most circumstances. However, you can disable the bindings for a protocol if you do not want other computers using that protocol to see this computer. At least one protocol, however, must be bound to the network client for the computer to communicate with the network.

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Last Revised: 01/04/2001
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