Windows Network Monitoring

One of the most commonly used operating systems today is Windows. As with anything else, the more popular that a given operating system or item becomes, the more likely it is to be the target of people who would use it to their own ends. Windows, like any other operating system which is vastly popular, is no exception to that rule.

Windows operating systems and Windows networks are prone to attempted breaches, which means that monitoring them is imperative. While some WIndows systems give you a basic method of monitoring your network, they don’t help you to see what kind of applications are using the network or running in the background.

Having this information to hand is very important if you need to discover and to terminate any kind of programs that are using your bandwidth or are using an injected malware.

Some Windows network monitoring can take place using the built in software and network monitoring tools that Windows 7 or Windows 8 offers you. If you’re looking for just basic network monitoring, you may not need to worry about third party network monitoring tools, but rather may just be able to get the information that you need using the Windows tools.

Taking a look at processes running in the background, as well as who is connected to your network is possible in Windows 7. Making sure that they are supposed to be there, what kind of load they are using and whether or not they are slowing your service is another way that the Windows network monitoring tools can help you.

In order to monitor your windows network all that you’ll need to do is to go to the Windows task manager. If you’re interested in how active the network is click performance and review the Ethernet or the WiFi sections to review that information. It is easy to view and easy to understand. You can even check on your own IP address.

Your Task manager is going to give you links to network monitoring information that is slightly more advanced and which will give you all of the information on every single active component of your network.. It will tell you how much data is being sent and received, where it’s coming from and how much of an impact it has on the network resources.

Bear in mind that these built in tools do have their limits. If you require more than this, need to see more deeply into the network, you’re going to have to install some Windows monitoring tools from the outside. A wide array of freeware is out there that can help you to take a closer look at all of the network information and won’t cost you a penny. Much of it is even easy to install and simple to use. If you’re using Windows network monitoring tools and they aren’t quite what you’re looking for, it may behoove you to look into other tools that can help you to get a closer look at your home or professional network.

Troubleshooting Network Information Cards (NIC)

Be sure that you have eliminated possible faulty wiring before you determine the problem as being the network card. Be sure all wiring is connect and tight.

The network cards of the past were much harder to troubleshoot. For one thing they had jumpers that needed to be set according to the type of configuration you needed for a particular computer. You also needed to know the IRQ number so that it would not interfere with any other hardware. The older cards also didn’t have much speed and they were 8-bit. Now they are 16 and 32 bit mostly with new technology on the way. Now you configure them with software and you don’t have to know the IRQ.

What you need to know today

You will need a plug and play network card. You will also need a PCI slot on the mother board on the average. They also make network cards for PCI express. You need to know what driver you need. A driver is a small program that is needed to communicate between the Network card and the Motherboard and processor. The card will not work without it. The operating system picks the best setting for the card.

Do I still have to configure the card manually?

Maybe! If your network requires a specific network address or setting you may need to manually configure it. You normally will not need to worry about IRQ setting on modern computers.

Are there more than one type of network card?

Although there are more types, the main one used on most networks today is the 10baseT using port RJ-45. The other cards are Thinnet with port BNC and Thicknet with port AUI.

Proper installation

When installing a network card or any other hardware be sure you are grounded. Preferably ware a ground strap. Carefully put the card into the slot by rocking it if necessary. Do not force it. Be sure to secure it with a screw. If it is doesn’t require tools, just fasten it as required.

Exceptions

laptops are the biggest exception to many of the above rules. The network card, sound card and video are on an integrated motherboard. This means you must have the drivers for the motherboard if you want them to work. The drivers are normally on the company web site that made the computer. Since Windows XP most drivers will install automatically and are a part of the operating system. However, don’t bet on it. It is also possible an installation disk came with the computer or that it has a restore sector.

How do I know if I need to replace the network card?

You will know when it keeps cutting out or will not connect at all. If you have the proper driver and it does not work it is probably bad. Be sure you have the right driver for the right operating system. If you have Vista and you drive is for XP it will not work. Some exceptions do exist. You will also know if you are having trouble getting the network to work. maybe a networked programs keeps getting errors or you can not stay connected to the Internet. When in doubt replace the card. If you still are having trouble it could be the cable or a problem with the operating system. Viruses or spyware could exist also.

Value of Networking + Informational Interviewing Tips

I recently facilitated the ASTD Training Certificate Program sponsored by the ASTD Ft. Worth, TX chapter. One of my participants was a gal named Eileen from California. Eileen is transitioning from Sales Management in the Pharmaceutical industry in to training and development. Eileen will be fabulous – she has excellent business acumen, in-depth industry experience, a natural energy and zest for learning, and great facilitation skills. She was a joy to have in our session!

As I mentioned, Eileen is transitioning into the workplace learning and performance/training and development profession. She’s asking the right questions to gather the information and perspective she needs to be successful. Eileen just wrote me today with a networking update:

“… speaking of networking, I have just learned the valuable lesson of always getting your job search message out complete with your professional objective.

Monday night while sitting around after playing a tennis match, the other members of the team asked about my class that I had taken through ASTD. I raved on about the class and about you. One of the players whom I don’t know very well sat listening intently and then asked a few more questions about what type of job I was looking to transition into. I provided a recap of my past employment, my skills and my goals about breaking into the training and development industry.

She then says to me, “You know, you should speak with my mother-in-law, she OWNS a training and development company”!!! Amazing, huh?”

So Eileen is on the right track to make her transition successful! She now has an informational interview set up with the owner of the training company. Eileen asked me for suggestions on questions that she should not miss asking. Below are some thoughts I shared. Read on, and then let me know what powerful questions you recommend for information interviews?

  • What do you recommend I do to prepare for a position In your company/department should one become available?” Take good notes, then if you are really interested in that company/department, start doing what they suggest!
  • What concerns would you have about hiring me?” or some variation… the goal is to ferret out information that may be holding you back without you being aware of it.
  • Similarly, ask “if you had a position available, why would you hire me?” or some variation – try to discover what the person you are talking with sees as your strengths that you may not recognize (or to reinforce what you know to be true about yourself and to help them see it as well).
  • Be sure to find out about the types of clients they work with, the type of work they do… “Describe a typical day in your job for me.” They likely won’t have a “typical” day, but you want to get a feel for the variety of activities and responsibilities in their work. Of course, if you are talking to the owner of a company that has people/trainers working for them, you may want to modify to “a typical day for your trainers” or whichever position you are interested in.
  • It is always good to ask about the pleasures and frustrations they experience in their role/company. This will help you be realistic about future positions you may land in.
  • I’d also recommend asking the person you are talking with to describe her perfect client, her company culture… all things to help you get a feel for if you’d want to work there or to help you narrow down the type of work you want to do and the type of environment in which to do it.

I hope these questions help Eileen. As I said, she is well on her way to a successful transition into my beloved profession.

We all need a little help from our friends via networking, informational interviews, and thoughts on how to prepare. What tips do you have for informational interviews?