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Windows 7: How do I correctly set up my network connections?

04 Apr 2018   #11

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

There are a number of IP address ranges for use in a private network, (one that is limited to a single location, company or home).

These network ranges have a special property , If any of their data gets out into the wide word of the internet they will not go anywhere, so as to protect the user and net

The popular range for home use is (in the format known as Dotted Decimal) where the nnn specifies a network, and xxx a device. The group can therefore have 256 Networks of 256 Devices, (actually 0 is used as a broadcast address to all devices so is not available).

If you wish you can manually assign these numbers to each device, but you have to ensure that the nnn component is always the same, and the xxx component is always different. It is usual however to set up a router to automatically supply these numbers to any device connected.

If you reset the router you have to default (check the documentation to discover how), it should automatically provide the addresses to any computer or other device that connects to it, either wired or wireless.

You then need to set the computer to automatic


It would appear from your last post that you have a direct access modem and with a single device this is fine and gives you access to the net - If you would prefer to use a router in future you would need to purchase one and set it up to connect to the existing modem and transfer the current settings to the Internet side of the router, and then set the auto settings I gave above -

Setup would be PC Router Modem Internet whereas you now have PC Modem Internet

To be honest If you are happy with the connection you have through the modem and are not in the process of adding new devices, I would not worry about a router just follow the instructions you had from the internet service provider, and ignore the additional network that is not in use, the things you are worried about are merely options that, once you have a need, if ever, you can enable and set-up they will not cause any issues until you do, and even when set-up this is highly unlikely as their main requirement is to have two computers or devices to be of any use

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #12
Old Owl

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thank you, Nigel!

In my uneducated eyes, my internet connection works just fine - what threw me was this seemingly useless, endlessly 'identifying' local area connection, the revelation that I have a public network 'like airports and coffeeshops', and of course that I now have an open, unprotected internet connection. I think it's called 'live on the internet'.

But I'm beginning to wonder if I probably was online like this before, with XP and before that, with 98/SE. Only without ever knowing. After all, the same modem, the same plug to put into the machine, the same DAU sitting in front of it - what should have changed? My idea of securing my connection was going to ShieldsUp and see if the firewall passes the tests. My Sygate always did, the Windows firewall needed some fiddling, but passes now. (I just wonder for how long, I don't trust the blasted thing).

On the other hand, there might be a lot crawling around under the Win 7 hood that does change things and that I just don't know about. Without the Sygate, I can't see what's going in or coming out. It's like driving with your eyes closed.

I still think my two network connections are kinda messy. And I still don't understand why the internet connection works like a charm - but is dependend on the faulty local area connection.

The 'instructions of my internet provider' never consisted of anything more but providing a user id and a password. Can't blame him, though - before I got Win 7, that was all I ever needed.

I will get a router eventually, but not in the next one or two months. I also have the little problem that I cannot buy just any router, but will need one that supports my antique 1959 telephone. I hear Fritzbox has models that will do this.

and ignore the additional network that is not in use,
It's just that in a way, it is in use - because when I disable it, the otherwise perfectly fine internet connection won't work anymore.

But at least I can put the whole thing under shadow mode before I go online. That definetely soothes the nerves.

Old Owl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #13

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Can you confirm that you plug a standard cable from the Modem to the PC?

If you do this then what you are seeing is, I think, the PC end of this connection, the actual Ethernet port on the back of the PC. This needs to be active and "talking" to the modem in order to actually make the connection. you could try setting this to manual and entering the actual T-Online number you are already using. If this works then You should not see anything in the way of errors in future, (except if something is actually wrong). It could be that it is giving errors as you are using T-Online software on your PC for the actual transfer, but the ethernet port connection that you are seeing as the other network is confused - It knows there is a connection there but cannot read the data

If you went for the all ethernet Router in future you would just connect the cable from the modem to the router and the router to the PC so no issues with the phone connection that would not change at all

As for your security fears after your upgrade I would recommend the following Free option (the Internet Security Package 3rd from left), which includes a firewall and antivirus set. There is a Firewall only item available further down the page if that is preferable for you.

Download Free Internet Security | PC Security Software

Comodo is a commercial security supplier that provides good software to individuals to prevent issues with personal systems affecting their corporate customers, I used it for many years but now use a commercial product that also works with Phones and Tablets

you can choose to set and forget or much more fun is to delve into the menus and set it exactly how you had your previous one - I do recommend that due to your direct Internet connection that you run a firewall and an Anti-Virus. Of course if you already are happy with something other there is the firewall only option I mentioned
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Apr 2018   #14
Old Owl

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hey Nigel,

I must admit I have no idea what a standard cable is supposed to look like - as far as I can remember, the cable came with the modem. It's an almost square plug made from clear plastic - and there's only one place at the back of the computer where it fits in. It has a little yellow light at its side, and a little green one a tad above that.

I have an older, borrowed laptop here. When I want to go online with the laptop (which I did when the new computer still was in pieces), I just take that plug and put it into the laptop's back.

Where (and how) would I set it to manual? Something in control panel/network connections?

I never had any T-Online software. I darkly remember I got some when I got Win95, but refused to install it and asked for the login data instead. It was a bloated thing with 'goodies' and 'extras', and I've always been a bit touchy with what goes on my computer (what I don't need, I don't feed). That was back in 1996 or 1997.

All the computer here got was the actual T-Online number and the password that goes with it. I looked into the Local Area Connection, but can't see where to put any of it. Maybe I would need to make a new connection, but then I might end up with three.

Thanks a lot for the Comodo link. I never knew their firewall can be obtained as a standalone firewall, I only ever saw the giant Comodo antivirus suite. I don't use an antivirus, but I do use Comodo Cleaning Essentials as one of my on-demand scanners on a regular base. I mostly rely on light virtualization for protection - TimeFreeze, Shadow Defender, Sandboxie - and a good firewall. And the on-demand scanners just to see if I still get away with it.

As for the router, I will need one because T-Online will change its lines and then the old modem won't work anymore. That's why I was looking into those things in the first place. The Fritzbox was recommended by telephone friends, they had great success operating their antique phones with those boxes.

However, when the lines are changed, I won't be able to keep the old modem.

Old Owl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #15

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Standard Ethernet ... Other colours are available

The network setup - there's a Step by step Here ... Guide to Network and Sharing Center in Windows 7, 8, 10 should help you find the IP address settings - If you get stuck take a screenshot and post it up (blank out any UserID or Passwords obviously) and we can take a look
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #16
Old Owl

Windows 7 Professional x64

I'm quite sure that's what it looks like! (If there isn't anything totally similar...)

Thanks for the link, I will work through it and study it. As things like this don't come easy to me, I'd better take my time and copy it all down.

I'll be back!

Old Owl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #17

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Take what time you need, were not planning on going anywhere
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2018   #18
Old Owl

Windows 7 Professional x64

Oh well, I didn't get anywhere...

I discovered that the Local Area Con. is also public now, but from what I've read on your link this isn't a bad thing at all. They write that if the connection is 'private', Windows assumes you trust the world and floats its sharing stuff, but if the connection is 'public', it will be closed down. That's fine with me.

But there is one big difference that I didn't even mention: The working internet connection has 'WAN Miniport (PPPOe) listed as its device. The crappy Local Area Connection has this newfangled 'Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection' device.

That thing also sits prominently in the device manager as the sole visible network device, while all others (a whole bunch of WANs) are hidden.

Window thinks the Intel network thing works properly. It has a test option and I ran it:

Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection

Connection test:

This connection is configured to use a 
       static IP address. 
   No WINS server is available for this connection 
   No DHCP server is available for this connection 
   Ping Gateway Failed
   Ping DNS Failed
   Ping DNS Failed
   Link speed: 100Mbps. The link partner 
       is not capable of higher speeds. 

Cable test: No cable problems detected; Polarity normal

Hardware test:

EEPROM Test        : Passed
FIFO Test          : Passed
Register Test      : Passed
Loopback Test(s)   : Passed
So I put its TCP/IP v4 properties back to 'obtain automatically', but it still didn't work.

Maybe I should throw it out? As long as I remember, my internet connection has always been WAN Miniport (PPPOe). But, I couldn't find an option to change the device, and have the feeling that it might wreck the whole mess even further if I simply uninstall it Somehow, I must have corrupted the local area connection already when it was first set up. Or rather, when it first sneaked up while I configured the other one.

I think I call it a day now as I feel my attention span is getting rather short.

Also, I'm thinking of dropping Win 7 x64 completely and install Win 7 x86 instead. Some of my favorite old programs don't run on 64bit - WordPerfect, for one. But I know it runs on win 7 32bit (did a test install on the borrowed laptop). And I've got more of those oldies. Tough decision, though, as I think I'll need more than 4gb of RAM in order to run virtual machines. But then again, I want my old computer back.

Either way, first I will try to clear this network mess - and be it just in order to not give up. And I'll sure use this Windows to testrun the new firewall.


Thanks for your help and patience,

Old Owl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2018   #19
Old Owl

Windows 7 Professional x64

I'm at it again, but nothing has changed much.

I'm wondering if part of the problem could be that the internet connection isn't a direct one, but goes through some network. I hope this screenshot will show up:

Quite some of the websites I've been to showed the internet connection as a direct line between computer and internet. Cut out the middle man, so to say...

Only I don't know how to do this.

Also, when I disable the Local Area Connection, it totally wrecks the working network connection, as I cannot connect online anymore even after reenabling the LAC. Fortunately, I only ever did this under Shadow Defender, so a simple restart brought my internet connection back.

You might wonder 'why bother' when I'm likely to reinstall Windows 7 anyway, but I'd just like to understand what is wrong and why it is wrong. Maybe I just bungled the first configuration, but as long as I have no clue, I might do just the same mistake the next time around.


Old Owl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2018   #20

win 8 32 bit

One thing about a router apart from the fact it's safer is it's likely to be a lot faster as like PC's they get more powerful over time with new CPUs. With most people now getting a cable net an ADSL router with built in modem are going for peanuts often given away free
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I correctly set up my network connections?

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