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Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab
Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab

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1.2 The home gateway and network settings

In this part you will take a closer look at the home gateway and in particular ways of finding more information about home network settings. This will help you to:

  • investigate your own home gateway and network settings
  • understand the significance of some of the information you find.

There are three short videos to watch and several activities. When you have completed this part, you should be able to find information on your own home gateway. You should know the role of IPv4 and MAC addresses and recognise their format.

Watch the video below, which is about 6 minutes long. This shows you how to find information about your network using the Microsoft Windows settings page.

Using the Windows settings page

Download this video clip.Video player: 04_using_the_windows_setting_page.mp4
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Activity 4 Try it out

5 minutes

Using the Windows settings page, find out and note the following:

  • the IP address of your home gateway

  • the IP address of your computer’s network card

  • the MAC address of your computer’s network card.

Discussion

Have you spotted that the first three parts of the IP address of your home gateway and the computer’s network card are identical? Further on in the course you’ll be finding out why.

Watch the video below, which is about 4 minutes long. It shows you how to find similar network information using the command prompt.

Using the command prompt

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Activity 5 Try it out

5 minutes

  • If you have more than one networked device (for example, a smartphone, a tablet, a second PC or laptop), check the allocated IP address of each device. (For smartphones and tablets you should find this in the settings pages.)

  • Using the command-line prompt, ping another device on your home network (for example, your home gateway, smartphone or tablet) from your home computer. Make a note of the average round-trip time.

Discussion

If your ping was unsuccessful, check that you haven’t made a mistake when entering the IP address.

Watch the video below, which is about 5 minutes long. It shows you a third method for finding network information – using a browser.

Using the web resource

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Activity 6 Try it out

5 minutes

  • Use your home gateway’s web interface (as demonstrated in the video) to find and note down the following:
    • the external IP address of your home gateway
    • the IP address of your ISP.
  • Using the command-line prompt, ping a device outside your home network (for example, the public address of your home gateway or your ISP’s gateway) from your home computer. Make a note of the average round-trip time.
  • Compare the round-trip time when pinging a device in your home network (as previously noted) with the round-trip time when pinging a device outside your home network. What do they tell you about the connections between the two devices?

Answer

It takes longer for data to make the round-trip journey to a device outside your own home network than it does to make the journey to a device inside your own home network.