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Solving Windows 7 Network Problems

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 6/27/2011

Solving Windows 7 network problems isn't a hard task, once you know what could be the issue.

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    The new operating system from Microsoft, Windows 7 has been greatly improved over the previous system of Vista though manages to retain some of the popularity features of Windows XP. Despite being a very good and clean product, as with anything else, sometimes things don't work the way they should. Windows 7 logo 

    Windows 7 has a much better way of connecting to the internet and networks that previous Windows systems either lacked or were confusing at best. The intuitiveness of the system to find and connect to components takes a lot of the work out of installing programs and applications to get a desktop running.

    Windows network problems usually have the same end result, which is the inability to connect to the Internet, however the problems and solutions can be a wide variety.

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    Problems connecting to Internet

    There can be many reasons why Windows 7 isn't connecting to the Internet -

    • IP Address
    • Network Configuration
    • Firewall

    IP Address - Your IP address identifies your computer whenever it goes online. If there is a conflict, say if your desktop and laptop have the same address, you may experience problems. If you are using a static system (basically, you choose an IP address in a certain range that you get from you ISP), you will need to change the address for one of those computers. For most users, they use dynamic addresses (those given and managed by the ISP). The best way to resolve this is to refresh your IP. You can do this by going to the Start Logo and typing in 'CMD'; this will bring up the command line interface. At the blinking cursor, type in -

    ipconfig /release

    This 'releases' the local connection. When the command states the IP address has been released, type in

    ipconfig /renew

    This 'renews' all the adapters, as well as the IP address. Through this, you may show that you are not online. Wait until everything is finished, then see if you are able to get online. If not, try restarting your computer. This will refresh your connections.

    Network Configuration - The configuration of your network, like the router and cable modem, need to be correct in order for you to access the Internet. The network configuration is based on the type of network you have - either wireless or wired. Wireless networks can be set up by going through the router's home page. The important areas to look for are

    • Basic setup - this should be the first page you reach. Check the Internet connection type; the default should be automatic/DHCP. You should not change this unless you are using static IP addresses or something other than what is assigned by your ISP.
    • Wireless Settings - Check the wireless mode, which will either be B, G, disabled, or both. B and G are the standard protocols for wireless networking; if you aren't sure which type your network cards are using, make sure that 'both' is selected. Broadcast SSID: make sure this enabled or else you won't see your network online.

    Firewall Settings - Windows 7 comes with a built in firewall. A firewall is an extra set of protection to ensure that your computer isn't overtaken by spyware, hackers, and other evil doers. While great at protecting, sometimes it can be a little overprotective. With Windows 7, you can tell the firewall which programs are allowed in the door, which have to be on the waiting list, and which ones get the boot out the door.

    There are other issues that can cause Windows 7 to have Internet connection issues. By going through the steps, you can eliminate or confirm specific problems that are keeping you from the Net.