The IPCONFIG Tool

Misc

IPCONFIG ToolHave you at one time ever wanted to get the IP address of the computer you are working on without having to navigate through the Windows interface? As it turns out, there is one tool that can help you identify your IP address, renew it and make a few other changes in connection with your network.

What is the IPConfig Tool?

The IPConfig tool, which is run from the Windows command line is part of the TCP/IP protocol suite and can be a great resource when working or troubleshooting a network. Even for an average PC user, this tool can help in troubleshooting simple network and Internet connection problems.

Identify your local IP address

On a local network, the IPConfig tool can help identify your local IP address as well as extra details like the Gateway computer’s IP address or the router address on the local network.

Switches

IPConfig supports several command line options otherwise known as parameters. These switches are invoked using the syntax “ipconfig / {switch}”. One of these is the “ipconfig /?” switch. This switch provides a list of other switches that are used with the IPConfig command.

The most commonly used switches are the “release” and the “renew”.  Since most IP addresses are dynamic they usually have “lease” periods which, upon expiry, usually in a day, are released. When conflicts occur, such as when a single IP address is assigned to more than one computer, the “release” switch can be used to reset the IP address. Once released, the “renew” switch is then used to assign a new IP address. Where more than one connection exists, the command can also be applied to a specific connection. For example to release the IP for a connection called “LAN 2”, use the command below:

IPconfig /release “LAN2”

These switches are especially important if you travel and have to use different broadband connections requiring that you get assigned different IP addresses every time you connect.

For advanced troubleshooting, the switches “displaydns”, “flushdns” and “registerdns” can be used.  If the information contained in the DNS cache becomes corrupted or outdated, you may not be able to access the Internet. In some cases, the IP address of a website may change or the website may go offline for an unspecified period of time. These 2 scenarios can be resolved by flushing the DNS and re-registering it to the local DNS cache using the “flushdns” and ‘registerdns” switches respectively.

Conclusion

So the next time you fail to connect to the Internet, why not use some of these switches and see if you can resolve the problem before calling your ISP or the IT guy.

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