In this article, I am sharing some very useful MSDOS commands that will help IT professionals and DIY enthusiasts to identify, analyze and troubleshoot networking issues in home and SMEs. You will be able to understand the functionality of these commands and learn how to run them in the Command Prompt window.
The hostname is a name assigned by an administrator to a computer and is used to identify the computer in a network. This command is useful to know the hostname of your system; in case you are unaware of it. In World Wide Web, the domain name of a website is its host name as long as an IP address is assigned to it. For example, it4nextgen.com is a host name of this tech website.
This is a useful networking command which no Network administrator can afford to ignore. Ipconfig is an MSDOS command that instantly tells you the IP address and default gateway associated with Ethernet or Wireless network adapter. Ipconfig comes with a number of switches.
It displays detailed information that includes host name, IP address and MAC address of all the adapters, DHCP condition and much more.
This is again a useful command for Network Engineers to resolve the Internet issues. You can clear the DNS cache that helps in case a website have problems in domain name resolution.
The other switches include ipconfig/renew, ipconfig/release and by using command ipconfig/? you can find more switches.
This is a common networking tool to test the communication between the source and destination hosts. You can test the systems and devices in LAN and also test the websites or default gateway for communication. Ping command shows the packets sent and received between two hosts and also lets you know the percentage of data loss.
Tracert network command is similar to Ping command. The basic functionality of sending and receiving the packets remains same. The only difference between them is that Tracert traces the path of packets and displays the response time of all the hops the packet has to pass through.
As you can see in the screenshot of Tracert command, there are 3 latency readings per every hop to get a mean value.
As the name suggests, this command gives you statistics of all the network connections on the local host and how they are connected to foreign hosts in a network. This is a useful network troubleshooting tool that can be used with various switches to find TCP and UDP connections, unicast and non-unicast packets, unknown protocols, discards, PID, host names and much more.
Every domain name has a unique IP address associated with it. The Name Server lookup command is used to find the IP address of any domain name. As you can see, I have used Nslookup command to find the IP address of my tech blog it4nextgen.com.
7 Net diag
This is one of the favorite tools among Network Administrators to identify and troubleshoot a system with networking issues. Net diag performs a number of network configuration tests (all in order) to output a detailed report that helps Network Engineers to analyze and diagnose the problems. You can check the detailed tests in Microsoft’s TCP/IP troubleshooting tools. There are a few useful switches that can be used with Net diag to customize the output. One such useful switch is /fix that troubleshoots DNS problems.
8 Get Mac
This is another handy Networking command that you can use to know the MAC addresses of network adapters in a host computer. Since MAC address is assigned by hardware manufacturers, it is not easy to find it on any documentation or displayed in a system. This tool helps you to find MAC address and you can use it in a number of ways in a networking environment. One such application is blocking the user in a network by the MAC address of the system.
The ARP (address resolution protocol) is used by Network nodes to map network address to the MAC address. This is a useful tool to diagnose Network communication. You can use ARP command in MSDOS to view the ARP cache in a windows network. Using ARP standalone will show all the available switches.
With netsh, you can not only view but also change the network configuration of both local and remote hosts. You can use netsh as a command in command prompt and also run it as a batch file to modify the network configurations of remote systems. Once you use netsh command and press enter, you need to input the relevant context before using the netsh command.
Top Networking Commands for Network Admins
There are a lot more networking commands than those mentioned in this article. But all the above tools are definitely very handy tools for Network Administrators or IT engineers to troubleshoot most of the networking issues in a small office or a large enterprise network. Have you used one of these commands or if you think there some more commands that deserve a place in this list, do share your opinion below.