How to find a network interface index number

Written by terry diamond
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According to Hewlett Packard, a system can have as many as 48 network interfaces. Your network interface card or NIC is used to physically connect your computer to a network. In addition to a physical connection, it is also possible to connect wirelessly to some networks. There are also many other interfaces available for computers to use, dependent upon the type of hardware installed. Some examples of other interfaces are Token Ring, Bluetooth, FDDI and X.25. Each type of network interface uses a different set of protocols and is uniquely identified by a number that is listed in an interface table stored on the local computer.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Open the Windows Start menu.

  2. 2

    Open a CMD window in Vista by typing "Cmd" in the search box at the bottom of the Vista Start menu. Opening a CMD window in XP can be done by clicking on "Run" in the Start menu. Steps three and four are the same regardless of which Windows system you are using.

  3. 3

    Within the open CMD window, type the following command: route print. This will display three tables in the open window. The first table is the interface list, which contains all network interfaces installed on the computer. The interface list has the desired information.

  4. 4

    Identify the desired device in the right-hand column of the table and find the corresponding network interface number in the left-hand column.

Tips and warnings

  • When a computer user needs to identify a network interface number, it will typically be the number for the physical network device or the wireless device that is needed. Wireless cards can be identified in the table simply by finding the word "wireless" in the definition. For physical connections, the network card will be identified with the word gigabit or megabit in the description.
  • Many different commands are available that can be added to the route command within the Windows operating system. Some route commands can cause network connectivity problems if used improperly, so be certain that when using the more specific route print command that no additional commands are added.

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