How To Understand LAN and Wireless Network together?

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help and Support' started by abrogard, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. abrogard

    abrogard Active Member

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    I always get a bit confused when configuring or setting up a LAN on XP. Maybe on win7, too.

    My confusion arises because there's apparently two LANs but the computer never talks about this, never puts it that way.

    There's the wireless network. That's a Lan, surely?

    And there's the Microsoft Lan that I might be trying to set up. More often I'm having problems with it and keep getting directed to Lan setup pages via control panel.

    Like just today I couldn't access the workgroup and I kept getting to pages wanting me to create a lan or join a lan or configure a lan or something..

    But the wireless network was all the time fine. The computer was accessing the wireless point and via it the internet.

    How am I to think of this? Just go ahead configuring MS Networks and don't even think about the wireless aspect? Ignore it? Or what?

    It was different when it was all ethernet. There was then only the one Lan. The physical Lan was the software Lan, all the same.

    I stumble through and manage to get things going but it would be nice if I had a clear rational understanding of what is going on.

    Can anyone help with that?
     
  2. NightEagle

    NightEagle Member

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    The wireless network is a LAN, and is considered by many users as a Wireless LAN because it runs the same way as the standard LAN, only wireless.

    To be honest, in this year its kinda pointless to setup a LAN manually through XP as the method is a lot more difficult then what Windows 7 has now. I don't see a purpose to setup a LAN on my machines, as they all run Windows 7 and higher, I can simply setup a Homegroup, which links all the computers to one network and provides options for what you would like to share

    To answer these points as best as I can. Windows XP only had early wireless support at the time if I'm not mistaken (in fact, I think it was the first OS to intergrate full wireless networking support without 3rd party software, which would have had to be used in 98/98SE/2000 .etc), and many computers who had previously upgraded only used LAN and/or Dial Up. Wireless networking didn't really have much of a part in the networking world then as it does now. My old Packard Bell EasyNote R1004 laptop from years ago (I still have it), around late 2005 to early 2006 was running the internet through the phone line, although it had a wifi card for wireless networking alongside standard LAN, but the wifi was not used until later in the year when we got our first Internet Service Provider.

    I don't know what you mean about Microsoft LAN, as I've never heard of it. If you want to set up a LAN network, its best to run a ethernet cable from a router into the computer and that usually works out the box. The only time I would have thought you would need to use the LAN setup is if you needed to connect to a business network and have full access to services such as server storage.

    Don't get me wrong, I use Workgroups on all of my household's computers by giving them the same name. I don't really notice anything different unless I use Homegroup so its probably harder to use and most likely obsolete. If you are getting to pages to create a LAN network, join a LAN network or configure a LAN network, then you may have incorrectly configured your network settings.

    All of what I said is my theory, not fact. The way it may work may be different to what I've said above, but either way, I hope it helps
     
  3. abrogard

    abrogard Active Member

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    'microsoft LAN' is just my way of distinguishing between the wireless LAN - which is working inasmuch as every computer can connect to the internet through it - and the LAN that isn't working, for at least one of them, inasmuch as that one can't see the rest, nor can they see it, or swap files or whatever.

    i.e. there's a LAN problem which isn't anything to do with the Wireless Network (which never calls itself a LAN but is a LAN nevertheless, isn't it. )

    So I go to trouble shoot and the system starts to get me to set up the whole thing again, from scratch, which leads me to questions and configurations about the Wireless Lan. Which I reckon has got nothing to do with it.
     
  4. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    A LAN is defined as two or more devices connected together on the same network segment. The media connection type 802.3 (ethernet - wired) or 802.11 (wireless) does not matter you can have both and still be considered the same LAN. Microsoft defines two terms WORKGROUP and HOMEGROUP as a method for sharing resources on the same LAN and is meant for use in a SOHO (small office home office) environment where you generally only have one LAN. In a corporate environment you typically will have multiple LANs connected via routers to allow for traffic to flow between them.
     
  5. abrogard

    abrogard Active Member

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    We know all that. Cripes, I was Lan manager a number of times in the distant past, probably before your birth - back in the days of Token Ring when it was still argued it would predominate. (Minute's silence).

    I'm not putting my question right, I guess.

    I'll have another shot: How come LAN problems in Windows (XP and 7, at least) cause the system to send you back to configuring the Wireless LAN which is demonstrably running fine?

    Or here's another go: Why isn't there clear separation between the Wireless LAN and the MS LAN?

    (someone somewhere already too me up on that 'MS LAN' claiming they'd never heard of it and apparently unable to intuit what I meant from my text. I mean all the LAN software that enables one computer to talk to another on a Windows LAN when, for instance, there is NO wireless LAN, no wireless connection.

    p.s. Novell LAN's, too, I managed. Ever heard of them? And DEC, Digital Equipment - though that wasn't really a LAN, that's a mini computer and terminals. But when you hooked other equipment into it then it began to look like a LAN. Or, well, it always 'looked' like it, but then it began to operate like one, say.
     
  6. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    MS LAN, wireless LAN, LAN Manager and LAN software are not exactly real terms so yes I'm afraid people are not going to understand what exactly you are referring too. Can you provide some screen shot's of what pops up?
     
  7. abrogard

    abrogard Active Member

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    I don't think I'd bother, mate. Are you for real? If you can't understand what I mean I don't think there's anything I could do to make it clearer.
    Sorry.
     
  8. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    Well that is up to you. All I can assume you mean is your "MS LAN" is your wired connection and I'm also assuming that when it has problems it will allow you to launch the network troubleshooter which is normal. It should not try and troubleshoot the wireless unless that is enabled and at least partially connected then yes it would try and troubleshoot that connection. This could be a result of how your NIC and WNIC have their metrics set (which adapter Windows is configured to favor). Without more details it's just us trying to guess what the issue is or what you are referring to. If you can provide screenshots or that actual pop up names etc then we would have a easier time assisting you.
     
  9. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    In actual fact there is no such things as wired or wireless LANs. The LAN is a physical entity, a local area network to which it is possible to connect either wirelessly or by wired connection via an access point. Many also make the mistake of referring to wired connections as Ethernet as opposed to wired connections when in fact both wired and wireless connections to LANs use the Ethernet protocol to connect to an AP.
     

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