Networking All-in-One For Dummies book cover

Networking All-in-One For Dummies

By: Doug Lowe Published: 05-04-2021

Your ultimate one-stop networking reference  

Designed to replace that groaning shelf-load of dull networking books you’d otherwise have to buy and house, Networking All-in-One For Dummies covers all the basic and not-so-basic information you need to get a network up and running. It also helps you keep it running as it grows more complicated, develops bugs, and encounters all the fun sorts of trouble you expect from a complex system. Ideal both as a starter for newbie administrators and as a handy quick reference for pros, this book is built for speed, allowing you to get past all the basics—like installing and configuring hardware and software, planning your network design, and managing cloud services—so you can get on with what your network is actually intended to do.  

In a friendly, jargon-free style, Doug Lowe—an experienced IT Director and prolific tech author—covers the essential, up-to-date information for networking in systems such as Linux and Windows 10 and clues you in on best practices for security, mobile, and more. Each of the nine minibooks demystifies the basics of one key area of network management.   

  • Plan and administrate your network 
  • Implement virtualization 
  • Get your head around networking in the Cloud 
  • Lock down your security protocols  

The best thing about this book? You don’t have to read it all at once to get things done; once you’ve solved the specific issue at hand, you can put it down again and get on with your life. And the next time you need it, it’ll have you covered.  

Articles From Networking All-in-One For Dummies

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22 results
22 results
Networking All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 05-20-2021

Managing a small computer network is well within your reach! But it's vital that you keep track of key information that's unique to your network. This cheat sheet is designed to give you quick access to your network information, explanation of some basic network concepts, such as pin connections and IP address ranges, and a list of useful websites for networking information.

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How to Install Fedora 26

Step by Step / Updated 10-15-2020

The following procedure describes the steps you must follow to install Fedora 26 on a virtual machine using a downloaded .iso file containing the Fedora installation media. Note that, for this example, the workstation version of Fedora is installed. You also can install the server version of Fedora, but the server version does not configure a graphical user interface (GUI) by default. The workstation version works well as a server and provides GUI tools to simplify basic configuration tasks. Download the Fedora 26 .iso file from the Fedora project's download page, connect it to the virtual machine’s optical drive, and start the virtual machine.

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Useful Websites for Networking Information

Article / Updated 08-06-2020

As a network administrator, the Internet can your best friend, offering all sorts of great information to help manage your network. Here are some websites for you to visit often. To register domains: InterNIC: www.internic.net Network Solutions: www.networksolutions.com register.com: www.register.com To check your TCP/IP configuration: DNSstuff: www.dnsstuff.com To see whether your e-mail server has been blocklisted: DNSBL.info: www.dnsbl.info Don't forget to check out the standards organizations from time to time and look for the latest networking news and updates. Here are the standards organizations you'll want to check: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: www.ieee.org International Organization for Standardization: www.iso.org Internet Engineering Task Force: www.ietf.org Internet Society: www.isoc.org

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The Many Types of Mobile Devices on Your Network

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

Your network is no longer just computers, printers, and maybe PDAs. Now, you have to consider a whole bunch of different device types when planning your network's security. Once upon a time, there were mobile phones and PDAs. A mobile phone was just that: a handheld telephone you could take with you. The good ones had nice features such as a call log, an address book, and perhaps a crude game but not much else. PDAs — Personal Digital Assistants — were little handheld computers designed to replace the old-fashioned Day-Timer books people used to carry around with them to keep track of their appointment calendars and address books. All that changed when cellular providers began adding data capabilities to their networks. Now, cellphones can have complete mobile Internet access. This fact has resulted in the addition of sophisticated PDA features to mobile phones and phone features to PDAs so that the distinctions are blurred. The term mobile device is used to describe a wide assortment of devices that you can hold in one hand and that are connected through a wireless network. The term handheld is a similar generic name for such devices. The following list describes some of the most common specifics of mobile devices: Mobile phone: A mobile phone (or cellphone) is a mobile device whose primary purpose is to enable phone service. Most mobile phones include features such as text messaging, address books, appointment calendars, and games, and they may provide Internet access. Smartphone: A smartphone is a mobile phone with advanced features that aren’t typically found on mobile phones. There’s no clearly drawn line between mobile phones and smartphones. One distinction is whether the phone can provide integrated access to corporate email. The screen on a smartphone is typically bigger than the screen on a traditional cellphone, and the most popular models (such as the iPhone and most Android devices) do not have a keyboard at all. Android: Android is an open-source operating system for smartphones developed by Google. Android is far and away the most popular platform for smartphones, being used on more than 80 percent of the smartphones sold in 2015. iOS: iOS is the operating system used on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Although outnumbered by Android devices, many people consider iOS devices to be more innovative than Android devices. The main thing that holds iOS back in market share is its cost: Apple devices are considerably more expensive than their Android equivalents. BlackBerry: Once upon a time, BlackBerry was the king of the smartphone game. BlackBerry had a virtual monopoly on mobile devices that synchronized well with Microsoft Exchange. Now that Android and Apple devices do that just as well as (if not better) than BlackBerry, BlackBerry has fallen out of vogue. However, BlackBerry is still around, and there are still plenty of BlackBerry users out there. (Note that newer BlackBerry phones run Android rather than the old proprietary BlackBerry operating system.)

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Virtual Consoles and the Installation Program

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

Linux is inherently a command-line–oriented OS. Graphical user interfaces — including the installation program’s GUI — are provided by an optional component called X Window System. However, while you’re working with the GUI of the installation program, Linux keeps several additional command-line consoles open. Normally, you don’t need to use every one of these consoles during installation. However, if something goes wrong during installation, these consoles may be useful: Console 1: The Installation dialog box. This is the main installation console. You see it when Setup first starts. After the GUI takes over, it’s hidden in the background. You can call it up by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1. Console 2: Shell prompt. This console provides you with a shell prompt, from which you can enter Linux commands. If you need to do something manually during installation, you can do it from this console. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+F2. Console 3: Install log. This console lists messages generated by the installation program. You can get to it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F3. Console 4: System log. This console displays system-related messages. You can get to it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F4. Console 5: Other messages. Still more messages may appear in this console, which you can open by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F5. Console 6: X graphical display. This is the console where the GUI of the installation program is displayed. If you use a Ctrl+Alt keyboard combination to view any of the other logs, press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to return to the installation GUI.

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How to Get to a Linux Command Shell

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

You can get to a command shell in one of two basic ways when you need to run Linux commands directly. The first is to press Ctrl+Alt+Fx to switch to one of the virtual consoles, where Fx is one of the function keys, from F1 through F12. Then, you can log on and run commands to your heart’s content. When you’re done, press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to return to GNOME. Alternatively, you can open a command shell directly in GNOME by opening the Activities Overview, clicking Applications, opening the Utilities collection, and then clicking the Terminal icon. This opens a command shell in a window right on the GNOME desktop, as shown. Because this shell runs within the user account that GNOME is logged on as, you don’t have to log on. You can just start typing commands. When you’re done, type Exit to close the window.

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How to Configure Remote Desktop Options

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

Before you connect to a remote desktop session, you can set a variety of options that affect how the remote desktop session will behave. To summon these options, click the Start button, type the word Remote, and then click the Remote Desktop Connection icon. When the Remote Desktop Connection window appears, click the Show Options button at the bottom left of the window. This brings up the Remote Desktop options, as shown. This figure shows the General tab of the Remote Desktop options. On this tab, you can enter the name or IP address of the computer you want to access remotely and the username you want to connect with. You can also save the settings you’ve created via the other tabs or open a settings file you’ve previously saved. When you click the Save or Save As buttons, your settings are saved to an .rdp file. .rdp files are associated with the Remote Desktop Connection program, so you can double-click an .rdp file to open a saved connection. In other words, an .rdp file is a handy shortcut to a remote connection. The following sections describe the additional options that are available on the other Remote Desktop Connection tabs. Setting the Display options The figure shows the Display tab of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box. The following paragraphs describe each of the options available from this tab: Display Configuration size slider: Use this control to set the size of your remote desktop display. If you drag the slider all the way to the right, the remote desktop will be displayed in full-screen mode. As you move the slider to the left, various display resolutions will appear. Choose the display size you want the remote computer to open up in. Use All My Monitors for the Remote Session: If your computer has more than one monitor, select this check box to use all your monitors for the remote session. If you want to open the remote desktop in full-screen mode on just one of your monitors, leave this box deselected. Choose the Color Depth of the Remote Session drop-down list: Use this drop-down list to choose the color quality of the remote desktop. Over slower connections, reducing the color depth will help performance. Display the Connection Bar When I Use the Full Screen: The connection bar is a thin bar at the top of the screen that enables you to switch back to normal windowed mode. If you deselected this box, you'll have to remember that you can press Ctrl+Alt+Break to switch between full-screen and windowed mode. Setting the Local Resources options The Local Resources tab, shown in the following figure, lets you set the following options: Remote Audio: Click the Settings button to bring up a dialog box that lets you choose whether to play audio on the remote computer using the remote computer’s sound card, the local computer’s sound card, or not at all. This display box also lets you choose whether to allow audio recording during the remote session. Apply Windows Key Combinations drop-down list: This drop-down list lets you specify how Windows keyboard shortcuts are to be interpreted — on the remote computer, on the local computer, or on the remote computer only when it’s running in full-screen mode. Local Devices and Resources: The Printers check box lets you access local printers from the remote session. The Clipboard check box synchronizes the local and remote clipboards, so that when you copy something to the Clipboard in the remote session, you can return to the local session and paste the Clipboard contents (or vice versa). You can also share local drives with the remote session. To do so, click More, and then select the drives that you want to make available to the remote session, as shown in here. Setting the Programs options The Programs tab, shown here, lets you specify a program that will automatically run when you connect to the remote computer. You can specify the path to the program’s executable file, and you can also specify the working directory for the program. For example, if you always want Active Directory Users and Computers to start when you log in to your domain controller, you can set up an .rdp file with the start program set to the path to Active Directory Users and Computers (%SystemRoot%System32\dsa.msc). Then, you don’t have to manually start this program when you log in to your domain controller. Setting the Experience options The options on the Experience tab, shown in the following figure, control various settings that affect the responsiveness of your remote connection. The options are as follows: Choose Your Connection Speed to Optimize Performance drop-down list: This allows you to optimize the amount of information sent back and forth over the network based on your expected connection speed. At slower speeds, features such as the desktop background, font smoothing, window animations, and so on, will be suppressed. The default setting is to let Windows choose which features to use based on the actual speed of the connection. Persistent Bitmap Caching: If you select this box, copies of bitmap images are stored on the local computer so they don’t have to be transferred across the network every time they’re needed. Reconnect If the Connection Is Dropped: If you select this box, the connection will be automatically reestablished if the connection is broken. Setting the Advanced options The Advanced tab of the Remote Desktop Connections window, shown here, lets you control two features: Server Authentication: Determines what to do if an authentication problem such as an unknown security certificate is encountered when connecting to the server. The default action is to warn the user, but allow the user to continue if desired. You can change this setting to always connect in spite of the authentication problem, or to never connect when a problem is encountered. Connect from Anywhere: These settings are used only when you use an advanced server role called Remote Desktop Gateway to manage remote access to computers on your network. For more information about this server role, search the Internet for Remote Desktop Gateway.

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Remote Desktop

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

When you’re working in a Remote Desktop session, some of the standard Windows keyboard shortcuts don’t work exactly as you expect them to. The table lists the special keyboard shortcuts you can use in a Remote Desktop session. Keyboard Shortcuts for Remote Desktop Shortcut What It Does Ctrl+Alt+Break Toggles between full-screen and windowed views. Ctrl+Alt+Pause Similar to Ctrl+Alt+Break, but instead of maximizing the remote window to full screen, it displays the remote window against a black background. Alt+Insert Cycles between applications running on the remote desktop, the same as Alt+Tab on your local machine. Alt+PageUp Same as Alt+Insert. Alt+PageDown Similar to Alt+Insert, but reverses the order in which applications are cycled. This is the same as Alt+Shift+Tab on your local machine. Ctrl+Alt+End Sends a Ctrl+Alt+Del to the remote desktop. Alt+Home Brings up the Start menu on the remote system. Alt+Delete Opens the Windows menu on a window in the remote desktop. (The Windows menu is the one at the top left of every window, with options to move, resize, minimize, maximize, and close the window.) Ctrl+Alt+Plus Sign (+) Captures a screen image of the entire remote desktop and saves it to the Clipboard. This is the same as pressing Print Screen on your local machine. Ctrl+Alt+Minus Sign (–) Captures an image of the current window and saves it to the Clipboard. This is the same as pressing Alt+Tab on your local machine.

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How to Connect Remotely to a Network

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

After you’ve enabled remote access on a server, you can connect to the server by using the remote desktop client that’s automatically installed with Windows. Here’s the procedure: 1. Click the Start button and type the word Remote. Then click the Remote Desktop Connection icon. The Remote Desktop Connection client comes to life, as shown here. 2. Enter the name of the computer you want to connect to. Alternatively, you can use the drop-down list to select the computer from the list of available computers. You can also enter the IP address of the computer you want to connect to. 3. Click the Connect button. You’re connected to the computer you selected, and then prompted for login credentials, as shown here. 4. Enter your username and password, and then click OK. Assuming you enter valid credentials, the desktop of the remote computer is displayed, as shown here. 5. Use the remote computer! You may notice in the figure that the Remote Desktop window is not large enough to display the entire desktop of the remote computer. As a result, scroll bars appear to allow you to scroll the desktop horizontally or vertically. You can always maximize the Remote Desktop window to see the entire desktop of the remote computer. Here are a few other tips for working with Remote Desktop Connection: Remote Desktop allows only one user at a time to log in to the remote computer. If another user is remotely logged in when you try to connect, you’ll get a notice informing you that another user is already logged on. You can either cancel or attempt to barge in on the other user’s remote session. If you choose the latter option, the other user will see a message stating that you want to connect. If the other user accepts your request, the other user is logged off and you’re logged in. If the other user denies your request, your attempt to log in is canceled. If the user does not respond, eventually Windows will kick the other user off and let you in. When you’re using the Remote Desktop Connection client, you can’t just press Alt+Tab to get another program running on the client computer. Instead, you must first minimize the RDC client’s window by clicking its minimize button. Then you can access other programs running on your computer. If you minimize the RDC client window, you have to provide your logon credentials again when you return. This security feature is there in case you forget that you have an RDC session open. If you use RDC a lot on a particular computer (such as your own desktop computer), create a shortcut to RDC and place it on the desktop, at the top of the Start menu, or in the Quick Launch portion of the taskbar. RDC has several useful configuration options that you can access by clicking the Options button.

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How to Enable Remote Desktop Connection

Article / Updated 07-02-2018

Before you can use Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) to access a server, you must enable remote access on the server. To do that, follow these steps (on the server computer, not your desktop computer): Open the Control Panel and click System. This step brings up the System settings page. Click the Remote Settings link. The remote access options appear, as shown. Select the Allow Remote Connections to This Computer radio button. Click OK. You’re done! Repeat this procedure for each server computer you want to allow access to. You can click the Select Users button to create a list of users who are authorized to access the computer remotely. Note that all members of the Administrators group are automatically granted access, so you don’t have to add administrators to this list. There’s no question that RDC is convenient and useful. It’s also inherently dangerous, however. Don’t enable it unless you’ve taken precautions to secure your Administrator accounts by using strong passwords. Also, you should already have a firewall installed to keep unwanted visitors out of your network.

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