Network troubleshooting tools are a necessity for every network administrator. When getting started in the networking field, it is important to amass a number of tools that can be used to troubleshoot a variety of different network conditions.
While it is true that the use of specific tools can be subjective and at the discretion of the engineer, the selection of tools in this article has been made based on their generality and common use. This article reviews the top 10 basic tools that can help you troubleshoot most networking issues.
IPCONFIG. Short for Internet Protocol Configuration, ipconfig is used on windows to display the PCP/IP configuration such as IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, DNS Server…
IPconfig is a troubleshooting command as well, as shown below
- ipconfig /release is used to release the computer’s IP configuration, and prepares the network adapter to get a fresh TCP/IP address configuration.
- ipconfig /renew allows the network adapter to get a new TCP/IP configuration.
PING. Short for Packet Internet Groper is used to test connectivity between two network devices. The host device sends an Internet Control Message Protocol, known as an ICMP Echo Request, the destination node then responds with an ICMP Echo Reply.
PING 127.0.0.1 This IP address is used in conjunction with ping to test the loopback address on computers. The tool is very handy and would be the first to try when network issues ever occur. The IP 127.0.0.1 is a class A address that has been a reserve for the purpose of testing that the network card and the TCP/IP stack work fine.
Traceroute or Tracert in windows is used to display the path taken by an IP packet, from the source to the destination computer.
TELNET (Telecommunication Network). It is a command used to access another computer remotely. Also known as a command request, is the most utilized by network administrators. A Telnet request may be accepted or rejected by remote computers; depending on the permission you have you may be prompt to enter a username and password. Example below:
Microsoft Telnet> o
( to ) 192.168.1.1
Connecting To 192.168.1.1…
The above telnet command was used on Windows 7, and could be different on other operating systems. Telnet is not enabled by default on Windows 7 as it is on Windows XP, it has to be done through Control Panel.
Nslookup. Most used by network administrators, nslookup command is a tool used for DNS (Domain Name System) Testing and Troubleshooting. It is advisable to learn how DNS works before using this command. Example below:
C:UsersBerbo>nslookup “just for illustration”
Default Server: SE572
Hostname. Used across a verity of platforms, the command is used to configure or find the name of a computer or other network device. An example below on windows:
ARP. Short for Address Resolution Protocol, ARP is used to find a MAC address or physical address when only the IP address is known. Example below:
Interface: 192.168.1.11 — 0xb
Internet Address Physical Address Type
192.168.1.5 00-01-e3-ef-69-b0 dynamic
192.168.1.255 ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static
220.127.116.11 01-00-5e-00-00-16 static
Network commands are great tools used by computers and networks, administrators to manage the network. The list of commands shown and described above is not exhaustive, there are many more and it is advisable to do some research on your own. We have seen the basic commands, which might help to troubleshoot within a home or medium-size network.