Vista 5231: The All-New Networking Center

The all new ‘Network Center’ is more than just a pretty face.

Networking appears to have been rewritten completely from the bottom up in Vista 5231. For those of you piping on about how its ‘just a number’ trust me, its not.

The new Network Center allows you to do somethings that users have demanded for years: for instance, configure multiple connections to automatically switch between themselves when connected to the appropriate network.

For example, at work you connect to one wireless router that does not use DHCP, and at home one that does, while at University you connect to a third that doesn’t. In XP you would have to manually configure 1 of the connections every time. In Vista, you don’t.

But it goes further than that: Vista automatically queries the SNMP for all local networks. I plugged in my Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5100b DSL modem, and Vista let me know that the address could be used to access the configuration page for the SpeedStream.

The new ‘Network Map’ draws a cloud diagram of your PC and all the networks its connected to. It correctly identified that I was connected to a Wireless Network with my Wi-Fi adapter, and that I was connected to the Internet via my wired LAN connection. It correctly ID’d the routers/modems on both ends, and supplied the network name.

On the Command Line side it has also added the ‘route’ command which can be used by advanced users to dictate how traffic should be routed across the various simultaneously connected networks, and to quickly and easily solve issues that previously required luck and conformity.

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