NetWare Connectivity in Windows

Windows 2000 still supports some of the NetWare connectivity elements that you may be familiar with from Windows NT 4. The three main elements that you’ll need to be aware of are the configuration of NWLink, Client Services for NetWare (CSNW), and finally Gateway Services for NetWare (GSNW).


NWLink is Microsoft’s version of Novell’s IPX/SPX transport protocol, the native transport protocol in releases of NetWare prior to version 5. Since IPX/SPX is still run in many enterprise networks, it is important to know how Windows 2000 communicates with systems running the IPX/SPX protocol. NWLink is configured in Windows 2000 by choosing to install the protocol in the properties of a connection object, such as a Local Area Connection.

Once the protocol is added, it can be configured by accessing its properties. Note that adding NWLink to a system only makes that computer capable of communicating with another IPX/SPX or NWLink-based system. It does not mean that this computer can access the file system of another IPX based system. That level of access requires that an appropriate client redirector be installed, which will be discussed in a moment.

Once NWLink has been installed, it might be appropriate to check your network binding order, in order to ensure that it is optimized correctly for your network. For example, if TCP/IP is listed first in your binding order and NWLink second, a client will always try to communicate using TCP/IP first, followed by NWLink. If IPX/SPX is the primary protocol used on your network, this may not be appropriate, and may cause unnecessary network traffic. The binding order for a connection is set via the Advanced Settings option under the Advanced menu item in Network and Dial-up Connections. The binding order is controlled according to the adapter and then the client or service, and can be changed via the up or down arrows to the right.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.