Sunday, August 31, 2014

Advanced Networking Commands

In one of our previous tutorials, you've learned how to use basic commands in Command Prompt. Now it's time to take things to the next level and show how to use some of the more advanced commands. The first set of advanced commands contains useful network commands which facilitate the following: viewing information about your network devices and connections (assigned IP Address, the MAC of the network card), checking the availability of a certain host and displaying a wealth of networking and ports information

Retrieving Information about Your Network Connection

To obtain detailed information about your network connection, use the ipconfig command. Type ipconfig in Command Prompt and press Enter. As you can see below, a list with the network devices existing on your system and their IP addresses is displayed. You get also details such the default gateway, subnet mask or the state of the network adapter.

With the /all switch you will get a whole new level of detail: DNS information, the MAC (Media Access Control) (in the Physical Address field) and other information about each network component. Check out the picture below to see a sample of the combination of ipconfig command with the /all parameter.

It's worth mentioning that the ipconfig command allows you to perform certain operations, if you use the right parameter. For example the ipconfig /release and ipconfig /renew commands force your network adapter to drop and renew the current IP address. These parameters are useful in networks 

that use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) to distribute IP addresses automatically. Basically your system gives up its current address and requests a new one from the DHCP server. This can be very useful in certain networking scenarios

Finding Your Computer's MAC Address
Another way to obtain the MAC address is to use the getmac command. Just type getmac and press Enter, as shown below.

Testing the Connection to a Website or Network/Internet Location
To test your connection to a certain website or another network or Internet location, you can use the ping network command followed by a web-address or IP address. For example, if you want to check the connectivity to our website, without opening a web browser, type ping 

This command allows you to use a quite useful parameter that enables you to ping the specified address until it's stopped manually: -t. For example, I typed ping -t After a period I decided that I want to see some statistics and I used the keyboard combination CRTL + Break. This shows the averages for the ping commands run until then. Finally I terminated the action by using the keyboard combination CTRL+C. This stopped the endless cycle of ping commands to the specified address.

Check Network Connections and Display Port Information

With the netstat command you will be able to see active network connections between your system and any other systems on your network or the Internet.
The -a parameter shows all connections and listening ports. A sample can be seen in the image below.

Telnet is software that allows users to remotely access another computer such as a server, network device, or other computer. With telnet, users can connect to a device or computer, manage a network device, setup a device, transfer files, etc.

Displays information that you can use to diagnose Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure. Before using this tool, you should be familiar with how DNS works. The Nslookup command-line tool is available only if you have installed the TCP/IP protocol.

All symbolic names used for destination are looked up in the network database file NETWORKS. The symbolic names for gateway are looked up in the host name database file HOSTS.
If the command is PRINT or DELETE. Destination or gateway can be a wildcard, (wildcard is specified as a star '*'), or the gateway argument may be omitted.

If Dest contains a * or ?, it is treated as a shell pattern, and only matching destination routes are printed. The '*' matches any string, and '?' matches any one char


Provides information about network latency and network loss at intermediate hops between a source and destination. Pathping sends multiple Echo Request messages to each router between a source and destination over a period of time and then computes results based on the packets returned from each router. Because pathping displays the degree of packet loss at any given router or link, you can determine which routers or subnets might be having network problems. Pathping performs the equivalent of the tracert command by identifying which routers are on the path. It then sends pings periodically to all of the routers over a specified time period and computes statistics based on the number returned from each. Used without parameters, pathping displays help.

The Tracert command is used to visually see a network packet being sent and received and the amount of hops required for that packet to get to its destination.

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