Subnet masks and gateway addresses are important elements of computer networking. The subnet mask allows you to identify the IP range available to computers on your local network, while gateway addresses specify the router that handles transmitting and sending communications to your computer. This information can be very important in diagnosing network problems, as it tells you what router to check for communication problems and which IP addresses your system can be assigned.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Networked computer
Open the Start menu by clicking on the "Start" button. This can be a Windows logo or the text "Start," and is typically located on the lower left-hand corner of the desktop.
Enter the run command "cmd." On Windows XP and earlier systems, click the "Run" option and enter command. Later versions of the operating system allow you to type the text directly into the "search" bar that appears on the menu.
Enter the text "ipconfig /all" in the black window that opens on your desktop. This displays a list of all network adaptors and their configuration options.
Scroll through the data that appears on the window. There may be numerous entries depending on what adaptors your system has installed. Look for the text "Subnet Mask" and "Default Gateway." The text will be located to the right of its label in the form of an IP address, such as 255.255.255.0.
Tips and warnings
- If an adaptor does not have a subnet mask or gateway entry, it means that it is not configured properly or connected. This can happen if you have not yet connected to your network or the adaptor is malfunctioning.
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