Utilizing the Alternative IP Address

Do you use a network with a static IP addressing scheme (such as at work), where you must manually configure your adapter with an IP address? Do you also connect to other networks (such your home network or Wi-Fi hotspot) with automatic IP addressing, provided by a DHCP server? If this is your case you may find yourself frequently having to configure your network adapter’s IP address. This makes you a good candidate for the alternative IP address feature found in Windows XP:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click on Network Connections.
  4. Right-click on the appropriate adapter and select Properties.
  5. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) from the list box and select Properties.
  6. On the General tab, select Obtain an IP address automatically.
  7. Click the Alterative Configuration tab and enter the information for the network you use with static IP addressing.
  8. Click OK.

Once you connect to a network your adapter will now first look for an automatic IP address provided by a DHCP server and if not provided your adapter will configure itself with the alterative configuration you just set up.


Eric Geier is an author of many wireless networking and computing books including 100 Things You Need to Know about Upgrading to Windows Vista, published by Que and Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting up Public Wireless Internet Access, published by Cisco Press.

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