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Mastering Network Commands: Top 11 Networking Commands

Mastering Network Commands: Top 11 Networking Commands

In this blog, we will discuss the top networking commands provided by the operating system to configure and troubleshoot the network.

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Understanding the Basics of Networking Commands

Networking commands work as command-line tools. It is important for executing a variety of network tasks, whether it’s diagnosing issues, tweaking the configuration, transferring files, or establishing remote connections.

Every device is linked to multiple networks through internal or external network channels. Unfortunately, network settings often encounter problems that can impact a system’s functionality. Networking commands are specifically tailored for the Windows command prompt, these commands offer a user-friendly and uncomplicated method to troubleshoot network problems.

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We’ve learned the basics of how networking commands help us manage networks.  Now, let’s jump into the networking commands that fix issues and improve connections easily.

Top 11 Networking Commands

  1. NSLOOKUP
  2. ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)
  3. IPCONFIG
  4. TRACERT
  5. HOSTNAME
  6. GETMAC
  7. NBTSTAT
  8. PATHPING
  9. PING
  10. NETSTAT
  11. SYSTEMINFO

Let’s check out some of the top commands. With these simple commands, you’ll be navigating networks like a pro in no time.

1. NSLOOKUP

NSLOOKUP

Think of NSLookup as your internet detective. With ‘nslookup‘, you can troubleshoot issues related to domains and IP addresses. If you’re having trouble accessing a website, ‘nslookup’ helps identify if there’s a problem with the domain resolution or if the IP address is correctly associated.

It’s a useful command for figuring out why a website might not be loading as expected.

Command to enter in Prompt – nslookup

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2. ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)

ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)

The ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) is like a networking translator. When you want to communicate with another device on a network but only know its IP address, ‘ARP steps in to find the device’s physical or MAC address. This establishes smooth communication by translating between IP and MAC addresses, helping your devices connect seamlessly.

To use ARP, simply type `arp` in the command prompt to see a list of devices and their associated addresses.

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3. IPCONFIG

IPCONFIG

Imagine IPCONFIG as your network identity card. When you want to know details about your computer’s network setup – like your IP address, gateway, and subnet mask

If you want to know how your computer is connected to the network or troubleshoot connection issues, just type ipconfigin the command prompt, making it super easy to understand and troubleshoot any connectivity issues.

4. TRACERT

TRACERT

Think of `TRACERT` as your virtual journey planner through the internet. When you want to know the path your data takes to reach a website or server, `tracert` is your guide.

Simply type `tracert` followed by the website’s name (tracert www.destination_host_name.com) or IP address, and it reveals each hop your data makes, showing you the route and any delays along the way.

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5. HOSTNAME

HOSTNAME

HOSTNAME is like your computer’s name tag in the digital world. It’s an easy way to find out what your computer calls itself on the network. 

Just type ‘hostname‘ in the command prompt, and it reveals the unique name your computer goes by. It might seem simple, but knowing your hostname is handy for networking and troubleshooting tasks.

6. GETMAC

GETMAC

When you’re on a Windows system and want to know the physical addresses (MAC addresses) of your network adapters, `getmac` is your go-to command. 

Just type `getmac` in the command prompt. It reveals the unique identifiers for your network adapters, making it useful for network troubleshooting and verifying that each device has its own distinct digital fingerprint.

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7. NBTSTAT

NBTSTAT

When you want to know details about NetBIOS over TCP/IP, just type `nbtstat` in the command prompt. 

This command reveals information like NetBIOS names, IP addresses, and the current state of your NetBIOS over TCP/IP connections. It’s a handy tool for troubleshooting and understanding the NetBIOS side of your network interactions.

This command only works when the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is installed on a network adapter in Network Connections.

8. PATHPING

PATHPING

Think of PATHPING as your network explorer. When you’re curious about the route your data takes to reach a destination and want more detailed insights than a regular traceroute, use `pathping`

Just type `pathping` followed by the destination address, and it not only traces the route but is also used to locate spots that have network loss and network latency.

9. PING

PING

Ping checks if your computer can connect to another one on the internet. It sends a message and waits for a reply, showing how long it takes. 

Just type ‘ping’ followed by the target’s IP address or domain name, and it sends out a signal (ping) to see if there’s a response. If you use it without saying anything special (target’s IP address or domain name), it gives you helpful information. You can also use it to check the name and number of a computer.

10. NETSTAT

NETSTAT

When you’re curious about what’s happening on your computer networks, like open connections, listening ports, or routing tables.

Just typenetstat, short for network statistics, is a command-line tool that shows network connections for both incoming and outgoing Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), routing tables, and various statistics related to network interfaces (either hardware-based network interface controllers or software-defined network interfaces) and network protocols.

11. SYSTEMINFO

SYSTEMINFO

SYTEMINFO, is like your all-in-one information hub. It is required when you want a detailed overview of your Windows system, including operating system, memory, and even recent updates.

Just type `systeminfo` in the command prompt. It provides a wealth of information, giving you a snapshot of your system’s health and configuration. It’s like your computer’s personal biography in a command, perfect for understanding and managing your Windows environment.

Troubleshooting Network Issues

Troubleshooting network issues is like having secret codes to solve problems! Picture `ping` as your friendly problem-checker; it tests if devices are chatting (respond to each other). Use `ipconfig` to peek at your computer’s ID card, showing details like IP addresses. 

When internet mysteries happen, call on the trusty `nslookup` to decode website secrets. And don’t forget your troubleshooting sidekick, `netstat`, for a sneak peek at what’s happening in your network. These codes help newbies to fix internet puzzles, making the online experience smoother.

One of the most productive networking commands for resolving a variety of network issues is the ‘release/renew and flush DNS‘ command. DNS (Domain Name System) is like the phonebook of the internet, translating human-friendly domain names into IP addresses that computers use. Over time, your system’s DNS cache can become outdated or corrupted, leading to connectivity issues.

When to Use These Commands

You might need to release/renew your IP address or flush your DNS cache when experiencing issues like:

  • Inability to access the internet despite being connected to the network.
  • Slow internet connection or websites taking too long to load.
  • Receiving error messages related to IP conflicts or DNS errors.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting

  1. Flush DNS Cache
    Flushing the DNS cache can resolve issues related to website accessibility and DNS errors:
    1. In the same Command Prompt window, type ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ and press Enter. This command clears the DNS cache, removing any outdated or incorrect DNS information.
  2. Release/Renew IP Address
    ipconfig /releaseTo reset your IP address, which can resolve network conflicts and connectivity issues:
    1. Open the Search box on your Windows taskbar.
    2. Type Command Prompt and open it.
    3. In the Command Prompt, type ‘ipconfig /release and press Enter. This command releases your current IP address.
    4. Next, type ‘ipconfig /renew’ and press Enter. This command assigns a new IP address to your computer.

Conclusion

Understanding the basics of networking commands is the first step to mastering network management. These commands, like `ping`, `ipconfig`, and `nslookup`, empower users to diagnose issues, configure settings, and ensure seamless connectivity. When troubleshooting network issues, these commands become invaluable tools, guiding users through a step-by-step process. 

From checking physical connections to examining DNS settings and using traceroute, these commands simplify the complex. In conclusion, network commands serve as the backbone for efficient control and troubleshooting, offering users a user-friendly arsenal to navigate the intricacies of network management with confidence.

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FAQs

How do I check the network connection in the command prompt?

To check your network connection in the command prompt, use “ping” followed by a website or IP address. For example: `ping https://www.intellipaat.com`. If you receive responses, your network connection is working; otherwise, it may indicate an issue.

How do I check the network latency in Windows using the command prompt?

To check network latency in Windows using the command prompt, use the “ping” command with the “-n” flag followed by the number of ping requests. ping -n 10 www.intellipaat.com

How do I map network drives using the command prompt?

To map a network drive using the command prompt in Windows, use: net use Z: \\server\share Replace: “Z” with your preferred drive letter and “\\server\share” with the network path.

What command is used to check network connectivity?

The command used to check network connectivity is “ping” in the command prompt, type:  ping www.intellipaat.com Replace “www.intellipaat.com”  with the desired website or IP address.

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About the Author

Technical Lead - AWS Solutions Architect

Shivanshu is a Technical Lead and AWS Solutions Architect passionate about utilizing Cloud technology to empower businesses. Proficient in AWS, Terraform, and GCP, he crafts innovative solutions to propel companies forward. As an enthusiastic writer, he shares his expertise to inspire others in this field.