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Windows 8 : Configuring Network Connections (part 2) - Configuring DNS Resolution, Configuring WINS Resolution

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4. Configuring DNS Resolution

DNS is a host name resolution service that you can use to determine the IP address of a computer from its host name. This enables users to work with host names, such as http://www.msn.com or http://www.microsoft.com, rather than an IP address, such as 192.168.5.102 or 192.168.12.68. DNS is the primary name service for Windows 8 and the Internet.

As with gateways, the best way to configure DNS depends on the configuration of your network. If computers use DHCP, you’ll probably want to configure DNS through settings on the DHCP server. If computers use static IP addresses, or you want to specifically configure DNS for an individual user or system, you should configure DNS manually.

Basic DNS Settings

You can configure basic DNS settings by completing the following steps:

  1. In Control Panel, tap or click Network And Internet, and then tap or click Network And Sharing Center.

  2. In Network And Sharing Center, under View Your Active Networks, tap or click the link for the network connection.

  3. In the Status dialog box for the network connection, tap or click Properties. This displays the Properties dialog box for the network connection.

  4. Double-tap or double-click Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) or Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), depending on the type of IP address you are configuring.

  5. If the computer is using DHCP and you want DHCP to specify the DNS server address, select Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically. Otherwise, select Use The Following DNS Server Addresses, and then type a primary and an alternate DNS server address in the text boxes provided.

  6. Tap or click OK twice, and then tap or click Close.

Advanced DNS Settings

You configure advanced DNS settings by using the DNS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box, as shown in Figure 2. You use the options on the DNS tab as follows:

Use the DNS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box to configure advanced DNS settings (for IPv4 on the left, and IPv6 on the right).

Figure 2. Use the DNS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box to configure advanced DNS settings (for IPv4 on the left, and IPv6 on the right).

  • DNS Server Addresses, In Order Of Use Use this area to specify the IP address of each DNS server that is used for domain name resolution. Tap or click Add if you want to add a server IP address to the list. Tap or click Remove to remove a selected server address from the list. Tap or click Edit to edit the selected entry. You can specify multiple servers for DNS resolution. Their priority is determined by the order. If the first server isn’t available to respond to a host name resolution request, the next DNS server in the list is accessed, and so on. To change the position of a server in the list, select it, and then use the up or down arrow button.

  • Append Primary And Connection Specific DNS Suffixes Normally, this option is selected by default. Use this option to resolve unqualified computer names in the primary domain. For example, if the computer name Gandolf is used, and the parent domain is microsoft.com, the computer name would resolve to gandolf.microsoft.com. If the fully qualified computer name doesn’t exist in the parent domain, the query fails. The parent domain used is the one set in the System Properties dialog box on the Computer Name tab. (To check the settings, tap or click System And Security in Control Panel, and then tap or click System.)

  • Append Parent Suffixes Of The Primary DNS Suffix This option is selected by default. Use this option to resolve unqualified computer names by using the parent/child domain hierarchy. If a query fails in the immediate parent domain, the suffix for the parent of the parent domain is used to try to resolve the query. This process continues until the top of the DNS domain hierarchy is reached. For example, if the computer name Gandolf is used in the dev.microsoft.com domain, DNS would attempt to resolve the computer name to gandolf.dev.microsoft.com. If this didn’t work, DNS would attempt to resolve the computer name to gandolf.microsoft.com.

  • Append These DNS Suffixes (In Order) Select this option to specify DNS suffixes to use for name resolution rather than resolving names through the parent domain. Tap or click Add if you want to add a domain suffix to the list. Tap or click Remove to remove a selected domain suffix from the list. Tap or click Edit to edit the selected entry. You can specify multiple domain suffixes, which are used in order. If the first suffix doesn’t resolve properly, DNS attempts to use the next suffix in the list. If this fails, the next suffix is used, and so on. To change the order of the domain suffixes, select the suffix, and then use the up or down arrow button to change its position.

  • DNS Suffix For This Connection This option sets a specific DNS suffix for the connection that overrides DNS names already configured for this connection. However, you’ll usually set the DNS domain name by tapping or clicking System And Security in Control Panel, tapping or clicking System, and then tapping or clicking Change Settings. In the System Properties dialog box, tap or click Change on the Computer Name tab, and then tap or click More. You can now enter the primary DNS suffix for the computer in the text box provided. Tap or click OK three times to save your changes.

  • Register This Connection’s Addresses In DNS Use this option if you want all IP addresses for this connection to be registered in DNS under the computer’s fully qualified domain name. This option is selected by default.

    Dynamic DNS updates are used in conjunction with DHCP to enable a client to update its A (Host Address) record if its IP address changes and to enable the DHCP server to update the PTR (Pointer) record for the client on the DNS server. DHCP servers can also be configured to update both the A and PTR records on the client’s behalf. Dynamic DNS updates are supported only by BIND 5.1 or higher DNS servers, as well as by Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and later server versions of Windows.

  • Use This Connection’s DNS Suffix In DNS Registration Select this option if you want all IP addresses for this connection to be registered in DNS under the parent domain.

5. Configuring WINS Resolution

You use WINS to resolve NetBIOS computer names to IPv4 addresses. You also can use WINS to help computers on a network determine the address of other computers on the network. If a WINS server is installed on the network, you can use the server to resolve computer names. Although WINS is supported on all versions of Windows, Windows 8 primarily uses WINS for backward compatibility.

You can also configure Windows 8 computers to use the local file LMHOSTS to resolve NetBIOS computer names. However, LMHOSTS is consulted only if normal name resolution methods fail. In a properly configured network, these files are rarely used. Thus, the preferred method of NetBIOS computer-name resolution is WINS in conjunction with a WINS server.

As with gateways and DNS, the best way to configure WINS depends on the configuration of your network. If computers use DHCP, you’ll probably want to configure WINS through settings on the DHCP server. If computers use static IPv4 addresses, or you want to configure WINS specifically for an individual user or system, you should configure WINS manually.

You can manually configure WINS by completing the following steps:

  1. Open the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box, and then tap or click the WINS tab. You’ll see the WINS Addresses, In Order Of Use area, as shown in Figure 3.

    In IPv4, use the WINS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box to configure WINS resolution for NetBIOS computer names.

    Figure 3. In IPv4, use the WINS tab of the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box to configure WINS resolution for NetBIOS computer names.

  2. In the WINS Addresses, In Order Of Use area, specify the IPv4 address of each WINS server that is used for NetBIOS name resolution. Tap or click Add if you want to add a server IPv4 address to the list. Tap or click Remove to remove a selected server from the list. Tap or click Edit to edit the selected entry.

  3. You can specify multiple servers, which are used in order, for WINS resolution. If the first server isn’t available to respond to a NetBIOS name resolution request, the next WINS server in the list is accessed, and so on. To change the position of a server in the list, select it, and then use the up or down arrow button.

  4. To enable LMHOSTS lookups, select the Enable LMHOSTS Lookup check box. If you want the computer to use an existing LMHOSTS file defined somewhere on the network, retrieve this file by tapping or clicking Import LMHOSTS. You generally will use LMHOSTS only when other name resolution methods fail.

  5. WINS name resolution requires NetBIOS Over TCP/IP services. Select one of the following options to configure WINS name resolution using NetBIOS:

    • If you use DHCP and dynamic addressing, you can get the NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server. Select Default: Use NetBIOS Setting From The DHCP Server.

    • If you use a static IP address or the DHCP server does not provide NetBIOS settings, select Enable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP.

    • If WINS and NetBIOS are not used on the network, select Disable NetBIOS Over TCP/IP. This eliminates the NetBIOS broadcasts that would otherwise be sent by the computer.

  6. Tap or click OK three times, and then tap or click Close. As necessary, repeat this process for other network adapters.

Tip

LMHOSTS files are maintained locally on a computer-by-computer basis, which can eventually make them unreliable. Rather than relying on LMHOSTS, be sure that your DNS and WINS servers are configured properly and are accessible to the network for centralized administration of name resolution services.

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