How to Manually Assign an IP Address in Windows XP

Most computers that are attached to an Ethernet network will have their IP addresses assigned automatically by DHCP. You can configure your PC to use its own IP address, effectively disabling DHCP.

In Windows XP, follow these steps to manually set an IP address on your computer:

  1. Open the Control Panel’s Network Connections icon.

  2. Open the icon representing your PC’s network connection.

  3. Click the Properties button in the Status dialog box.

  4. From the list of items, choose Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

  5. Click the Properties button.

    The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box appears.

  6. Choose Use the Following IP Address.

  7. Type the IP address for your computer.

    Well, officially, you’re typing an IP address for the network adapter, but it’s kinda the same thing.

    Don’t randomly type an address. You need to type a value that’s useful for accessing the network. Obviously, if you don’t know what you’re doing here, don’t choose to manually assign an IP address.

  8. Type a subnet mask.

    The value used on a local network is commonly 255.255.255.0, but it can be different, such as 255.255.255.127.

  9. Type the default gateway address.

    The default gateway is the router, so type the router’s address.

  10. Type the address for the preferred DNS server.

    The address should be obtained from your ISP. It’s used to help your computer find web pages and other addresses on the Internet.

  11. Type the address for the alternate DNS server.

    The alternate DNS server’s IP address is something that your ISP provides.

  12. Click OK to confirm the settings.

  13. Close all other open dialog boxes and windows.

Yes, it’s kind of an ordeal to manually configure an IP address. The complex process underscores why DHCP was necessary and how it became popular.

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