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Setting Up an Internet Connection in Windows

Last Updated: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 > Related Articles

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Learn to set up TCP/IP and manage IP addresses in Windows 7, Vista and XP.


Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP. Cox will only provide limited support of Windows XP that includes network connectivity and basic settings. If you require additional support and are using Windows XP Service Pack 3, Cox Tech Solutions may be able to assist. Visit http://ww2.cox.com/residential/tech-solutions.cox or call 877-TEC-SOLV (877-832-7658) for more information about Cox Tech Solutions' services. This support is a fee-based service.

For more information regarding Windows XP retirement, visit Microsoft’s website.

Want to set up an Internet connection on your PC? Need to verify, release or reset an IP address? Learn to manage these network settings using Windows 7, Vista and XP.

For information on Windows 8, see Managing Windows 8 Internet Connection Settings.

Cox does not support all versions of the Windows operating system. The following information is for reference only. For more help using Windows visit Microsoft support.


What is TCP/IP?
Transmission Control Protocol
or TCP ensures your data is transferred correctly between computers, such as when you send a request to see a web page on the Internet or when you send email to a co-worker on your company's computer network. Internet Protocol or IP is responsible for moving that data between computers. TCP/IP work together to help you communicate effectively and efficiently online, so in order to make that happen you must first set it up on your computer.
What is an IP address?
An Internet Protocol address or IP is the set of numbers that identify your computer to other computers, such as a network printer at your job, or any computer connected to the Internet. IP version 4 (IPv4) is represented by four groups of numbers separated by periods, such as 123.53.789.10. Since IPv4 addresses are running out, IP version 6 (IPv6) was developed. IPv6 is represented by eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons.

Set Up Internet Connection (or TCP/IP)

Depending on your user access, you may be prompted to log in as the Administrator. See the Microsoft support link at the start of this article for more information.


Windows 7 and Vista:

Click the Start button, then Control Panel, then View Network Status and Tasks.

Windows XP:

Click the Start button, then click Control Panel.

  • Windows 7: On the left, click Change Adaptor Settings.
  • Windows Vista: Under Tasks, click Manage network connections.
  • Windows XP: Click Network and Internet Connections then click Network Connections.
  • Windows 7 and Vista: Right-click Local Area Connection then click Properties.
  • Windows XP: Double-click Local Area Connection then click Properties.
  • Windows 7: Click Internet Protocol Version 4(TCP/IPv4) then click Properties.
  • Windows Vista: If the pop-up displays asking for permission, click Continue to open the Local Area Connections Properties window. Then click Internet Protocol Version 4(TCP/IPv4) then click Properties.
  • Windows XP: Highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then click Properties.

Under the General tab ensure the following are selected:

  • Obtain an IP address automatically
  • Obtain DNS server address automatically
Under the Alternate Configuration tab, ensure that the Automatic private IP address option is checked. Click the Advanced button.

Under the IP Settings tab, ensure the following:

  • The following options are listed: IP addresses and DHCP Enabled.
  • Nothing is listed under the Default gateways option.
  • The Automatic metric option is checked.

From the DNS tab, verify the following:

  • The Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes option is selected.
  • The Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix option is checked.
  • The Register this connection's addresses in DNS option is checked.
  • The Append these DNS suffixes (in order) option is NOT selected.
  1. From the WINS tab, verify the following:
    • .The WINS addresses box is empty.
    • The Enable LMHOSTS lookup option is checked.
    • The Default: Use NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server option is selected.
  2. Close any open windows by clicking OK.

Once all windows are closed you will be prompted to restart your computer. Once restarted, your changes should take effect. If not, go back to Local Area Connection, right-click and select Enable.

Verify or Release and Renew an IP Address

Learn how to manage your Internet Protocol address.

  • Windows 7 and Vista:
    1. Click Start at the bottom left of your PC screen.
    2. In the search field enter cmd.
    3. Press Enter.
    4. Right click the Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator.
  • Windows XP:
    1. Click Start at the bottom left of your PC screen, then click Run.
    2. In the Open field enter cmd.
    3. Click OK.

On the black screen, right next to where the cursor is flashing, choose one of the following then type the information as directed. Do not use spaces:

  • To view your IP address, enter ipconfig and press Enter. You will see the numbers and dots that represent your address.
  • To release your IP address, enter ipconfig/release and press Enter
  • To renew your IP address, enter ipconfig/renew and press Enter

When finished, click the X in the upper right corner to close the black screen.

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