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How do I install additional network protocols like IPX or Netbeui?

Question: In one of your other articles you mentioned that it might
sometimes be easier to connect computers on a small LAN using a networking
protocol other than TCP/IP – you mentioned IPX and Netbeui. Great, so how do I
do that?

TCP/IP is the protocol of the internet (in fact, the I stands for Internet),
so anything you do on the internet requires that you use TCP/IP.

TCP/IP can be a little difficult to set up at times, though, because it
requires things like routers and subnets and DNS … oh my! If all you want is
a few machines on a small local area network, different protocols might be
easier to setup.

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Protocols like IXP/SPX and Netbeui are less efficient, and even somewhat
less secure, than TCP/IP, but on a small network that may simply not be an
issue. Also, with TCP/IP being the predominant network protocol these days, not
all applications, and not all networking hardware support other protocols.

But the good news is that for simply sharing files and printers across a
local area network, once installed, these protocols usually “just work”.

Let’s install IPX.

In Control Panel, open up Network

Network Connections Window

Right click on Local Area Connection, and click on
Properties, and this dialog results:

Local Area Connection Properties Dialog

Click on the Install… button, and this dialog

Network Component Selection Dialog

Click on Protocol, and click Add…. After
a few seconds, a dialog similar to this will appear:

Network Protocol Selection Dialog

Click on the NWLink IPX/SPX… protocol, and click
OK. The protocol will be installed.

Once you’re done, you’ll return to the Properties dialog, only this time the
new protocol will be listed:

Local Area Connection Properties Dialog (with IPX)

Click on Close, and it’s likely you’ll then need to reboot
your machine for the installation to complete.

Now you’ll note that Netbeui was not one of the options. That’s because
technically Netbeui is no longer a supported protocol by Microsoft. However,
they still include the drivers on the Windows XP CD-ROM. The process is similar
to what we just did for IPX, but rather than walk through it again, an article
in the Microsoft Knowledgebase details How to install
Netbeui on Windows XP

Which protocol you’ll actually want is somewhat vague, because it depends on
what problem you’re attempting to solve, and what your applications and
networking equipment support. But do remember this: you will need TCP/IP to
talk to anything on the internet. Fortunately, you can have more than one
protocol installed at the same time.

Do this

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11 comments on “How do I install additional network protocols like IPX or Netbeui?”

  1. hi, i’ve install the protocol on both computer. however, i can’t see the other computer in my workgroup except for itself in my new computer. as for my old computer, theres nothing in workgroup.

  2. you are like totally cool and you changed my life. thank you for your help, solving my weird problems. u roxxx like the all and like stuff.

  3. ummmm, i did what u said, so far anyways, and i cant
    find any thing in the ”Select Network Protocol” except for network monitor driver. I cant find anything else

  4. when trying to install ipx like explained above. windows xp prompts me with : “unable to find any drivers for this device” this happends when i click add under install protocol. THe (latest)drivers for my integrated lan (3com 3c920) havve been installed.
    I have tried many options but nothing works.

    Regards Mark

  5. Is it necessary to have installed same protocol on two machines in a same workgroup, for example machine A has IPX/SPX and machine B has TCP/IP, will they communicate each other?

    You do need the same protocol on both machines, yes.

    – Leo
  6. What about install IPX for Windows 7? I need it for some games to play Multiplayer with others?, like Warcraft 2 :P


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