Using Command Prompt: Network Commands Exercise 1

FOR~GO
(For Geeks Only)
By Joe Callison
27 June 2020

This exercise will use the network commands “ipconfig” and “arp” in the Command Prompt. The commands will also work in PowerShell. Running in administrator mode is not required, but can be invoked by a right-click on the app, select More and then Run as administrator. Help for using commands and all of their options can be viewed by typing the command followed by a space and then /? and then press enter.  

Using Internet Protocol Configuration:
Open the Command Prompt and type ipconfig, then press enter. This shows just the basic network information instead of the complete list shown by appending the /all option.

Note the line under the type of Ethernet connection you are currently using, Ethernet adapter or Wireless LAN adapter, showing the IPv4 Address currently assigned to your computer. For example:
IPv4 Address . . . . . . .192.168.1.183 (Note that your address is likely different)

Using Address Resolution Protocol:
At the prompt, type arp -a and press enter. (Note there is a space between the p and the -a) Look for the section for Interface: 192.168.1.183 (Note- look for your address from above) This section will show all of the other Ethernet devices connected to your network and their assigned internet addresses.

Open a browser and enter one of the listed addresses found to see what it connects to. If you have any wired or wi-fi Ethernet devices connected and powered up on your network (printer, camera, thermostat, doorbell, etc.) and they have a built in web interface, you will see it when you get to the right address. Usually they will be one of the dynamic addresses as that is the typical default for a device unless you configured it to be static.

Example after entering 192.168.1.225 on my computer:

Note that I could also just go to File Explorer, expand the Network to show the installed devices, select the printer, and then click “View device webpage” in the File Explorer menu to get the same result.

Microsoft has a nifty, more modern terminal interface available for download from the Store called Microsoft Terminal that includes PowerShell, Command Prompt and Azure in one app. It supports multiple tabbed pages and multiple horizontal or vertical panes among other features. Other shells can be added for Linux, macOS or whatever and would then be available from the drop down menu next to the New Tab. Microsoft and others have some YouTube videos that describe and demonstrate the new terminal app features that are interesting to watch even if you are not into the code development and testing aspects.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsnwlnNBzs for example.
Even if you only use basic command prompt commands, it is a nice customizable open-source interface to use.

Posted by Joe Callison

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