If you need to move your Windows XP laptop between networks regularly, then you’re no doubt familiar with the hassles of switching your network settings back and forth. If you’re lucky, all of the networks that you connect to use DHCP and it isn’t an issue. However, manual changes are necessary when this isn’t the case.
While changing your TCP/IP settings manually is not exactly a big deal, the NETSH command can easily put you just a double-click away from automating the switch. All you need to do is add the appropriate NETSH commands for each network to its own VBS script, and you can change anything from your IP address and default gateway settings to your DNS server addresses.
To set a static address of 192.168.1.105 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 with NETSH, you would issue the following command:
netsh int ip set address name=”Local Area Connection” source=static addr=192.168.1.105 mask=255.255.255.0
Of course, you’ll need to add the name of your connection in the name field (ipconfig /all provides the details). Quotes are necessary when the name includes spaces. If the command completes successfully, you’ll be presented with one very simple message – OK.
To change your default gateway address to 192.168.1.1, issue the following command:
netsh int ip set address name=”Local Area Connection” source=static gateway=192.168.1.1 gwmetric=1
To switch your DNS server address to 192.168.1.100, the command would be:
netsh int ip set dns name=”Local Area Connection” source=static addr=192.168.1.1
To switch these same elements back to using DHCP instead, the commands would be:
netshint ip set address name=”Local Area Connection” source=dhcp
netshint ip set dns name=”Local Area Connection” source=dhcp
To automate the process of changing your addresses, fire up Notepad, create a Netsh command script for each network, and then save the resulting files to your desktop with .VBS extensions.
Create one for home, another for work, or as many as you need for the various networks you connect to. If you need to change your TCP/IP settings manually, this is a huge time saver. For more details on the NETSH command and its options, type netshint ip set address and press Enter.