Using the command prompt is a fast and efficient way of locating vital information on a wide array of components and devices for your computer and will often be faster than searching the windows control panel. To that end, I have
Checking Local Area Network Information
One of the most common commands run at the command prompt is
Type CMD in your start menu.
Type ipconfig /all and press the enter key.
(Note that in some cases you may have to right + click cmd and Run As Administrator.)
All the info on your network adapter is displayed.
Break Down of Ethernet Adapter Properties
You will need to know your network information for such things as identifying devices on the network, configuring protocols, device security, and other 3rd party devices such as firewalls, switches, hubs, gateways, servers, NAS devices security cameras, in an ever-growing market of devices.
Physical Address is the MAC address of your Network Adapter, this should remain hidden or be kept a secret to others, as it is a unique ID for your Network Adapter on the LAN.
Default Gateway address often is the Router or Modem, main address for (DHCP) Dynamic Host Control Protocol, as it assigns addresses to all connected devices on the LAN, IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are leased to devices at physical addresses.
Typical subnet prefixes for the devices on the LAN are 192.168.0.* or 192.168.1.* or 10.0.0.* or 10.0.1.* but your network devices may differ. Refer to your system administrator or the manufacturer of your network products if you are unsure.
DNS Address or Domain Name System is what resolves URL requests of the WAN – Wide Area Network to all LAN Client Devices making requests.
As an example a client browser request for URL address information, instead of using an IP Address such as 22.214.171.124 we can use a name www.Google.com, which resolves the correct IP address for the hostname HTTP or HTTPS Web server which is sent and responds with the port TCP 80 or 443 requests to serve the page information to a Client Address with your WAN host IP address. From the Gateway address, it then routes the request to the LAN Client Device at the physical address the request was made from.
Once the client device browser has received the page file information it then loads the page.
Using the command prompt to rename files is a fast and efficient way to convert file types. For example, I created a hosts file on my desktop, as the host file in the dir C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc is not directly editable. Once I created the file it was created using a txt file extension. To change this do the following.
Type CMD in your start menu
Type dir and then type CD Desktop to change directories to your desktop path
Type rename “filename” and then “filename + new extension” and press enter
Example: rename hosts.txt hosts
You will notice the file name changed and now has the new extension you gave it. In this example, I am modifying my hosts file so there is no extension (IE – .txt .doc .exe) so I left the field empty.
Check Communication Using PING
The following are the steps to ping addresses to check if you’re formulating a connection to internal and external addresses.
Type CMD in the start menu.
Type ping and the address name
Example: www.google.com or an IP address like 126.96.36.199
If you see general failure you will know your connection is timing out before reaching its destination or has been blocked.
This is where you will want to begin LAN or WiFi Troubleshooting to what is causing the loss.
Checking Route of Communication
In these steps, I give examples of the DOS command tracert. The Traceroute command is a good way to determine the route of an IP address and determine if there is packet loss at any of the hops, or finding the physical location of a specific address.
Type cmd in your start menu.
Type tracert and then the address
Example: tracert www.google.com or 188.8.131.52
In this example of
Checking Running Process Communication
In the following steps I give examples of the
Your results will undoubtedly differ from mine but it gives you a good way to lock down any open ports or find what processes are using a socket or port.
Type cmd in your start menu.
Type netstat to list your connections.
(Note – Under netstat help command you can find a list of additional options for limiting or expanding the view of ports listed in netstat, protocols, address information, etc.)
Each of the Flags will filter the output of the
In Windows 10 or Windows 8 this can be done by pushing Ctrl + Shift + Alt or CTRL + ALT + DEL and selecting Task Manager and then viewing the Details tab.
In Windows 7 this can be done by CTRL + ALT + DEL or Searching the start menu for taskmgr.exe
You can find a more detail list of Command Prompt commands as I have created a Reference chart here.