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If you already have some networking components installed, you can simply right-click the Network Neighborhood icon on your Desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

Networking Components

First, let’s review the four basic types of networking components that can be added in the Network panel, as shown in Figure 6.14. This screen can be reached by clicking Add on the Configuration tab.

The networking components are as follows:

Client As mentioned before, the client is software that allows your machine to talk to servers on the network. Each server vendor uses a

different way of designing its network access. Therefore, if a computer needs to get to both a Novell and a Microsoft network, the computer must have two pieces of client software installed, one for each type of server. The three network client groups supported by Windows 9x are for Microsoft, Novell, and Banyan servers.

Unix/Linux clients are also supported natively, but they use their own set of tools (e.g., Ping, nslookup, etc.) and don’t require the installation of a client piece in this area.

Adapter The adapter is, technically, the peripheral hardware that installs into your computer, but in this case, it refers to the software that defines how the computer talks to that hardware. If you do not have the proper adapter software installed, your PC will not be able to talk properly to the NIC, and you will not be able to access the network until you change the adapter to one that is compatible with the hardware. It is often best to think of an adapter as simply a network driver, which is what it really is. Many adapters are supported by Windows 95, and Windows 98 and the more recent versions support even more, with support for more recent hardware. Adapter drivers can also be downloaded from most NIC vendors’ websites.

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