Download (direct link):
To configure dialing location information, open the Phone and Modem Options control panel and click the Dialing Rules tab. Click on the location of interest (only one may appear) and click the Edit button. A dialog box similar to Figure 13-1 appears.
Figure 13-1: The Edit Location box lets you set dial-out options.
Instant Answer Here's what you need to remember about dialing rules:
* Change dialing rules whenever you move your PC to a new location that has different ones (for example, a different area code, which you may find yourself in after a crosstown relocation).
* Dialing rules are available to all Windows applications that support TAPI (Telephony Application Program Interface). Other TAPI-compliant programs are Outlook Express and MSN (Microsoft Network).
* Dialing rules are global. That is, if you change the location in the Phone and Modem Options control panel, the dialing rules change for all dial-up connections that you may have created.
* On a location-by-location basis, you can specify whether Windows XP needs to dial an area code for local calls (an increasingly common situation) via the Area Code Rules tab.
* Also on a location-by-location basis, you can specify calling card information via the Calling Card tab.
Network Connections: First Principles
The Network Connections folder lets you connect a Windows XP PC to a remote computer or to a remote network over a telephone line (be it regular analog, ISDN, or DSL) or cable, or infrared link.
In Windows XP, Microsoft decided to lump all connections - local and remote, regardless of media - into a single folder. Get there by choosing Start?All Programs?Accessories?Communications?Network Connections, or (more quickly) by choosing Start?Control Panel?Network Connections, or (most quickly) by right-clicking My Network Places and choosing Properties. You see a window that looks something like the one in Figure 13-2; note the handy new Network Tasks and Details boxes in the left pane. No more bouncing around between a Dial-Up Networking folder and a Network control panel, as in Windows 98; all connection settings are here in one place.
Figure 13-2: The Network Connections folder.
Network Connections is where you configure both inbound and outbound connections because Windows XP Professional can host incoming sessions as well as dial out to other networks.
The Network Connections folder, which replaces the Network control panel in earlier versions of Windows, is very 'deep' - that is, it has lots of settings and options. Thankfully, Microsoft has provided a Create New Connection Wizard that gets you through most of the initial configuration.
Also, certain aspects of this folder's setup are automatic. For example, you can't manually create an icon for a LAN connection; Windows XP creates one for you 'automagically,' when it detects a network interface card. (Windows XP does not automatically create an icon for a dial-up connection if the operating system detects a modem, however, for the good reason that a human being must supply a phone number and sundry other details to create a dial-up link.)
Why create a connection?
You would create a Network Connection link in the following situations:
* Employees need Internet access from the workplace, but your organization doesn't have a constant Internet connection.
* Employees in your organization travel and need to be able to 'dial in' to the LAN at headquarters.
* Employees in your organization travel and need to be able to connect to the Internet (for example, to check e-mail).
* Your organization has telecommuters who need to be able to 'dial in' to a single PC at the office.
* You have a notebook PC with no network card, and you need to exchange files with a desktop PC.
* You're planning to take an MCSE test and you decide to practice with the software. (Smart.)
With some exceptions (such as dialing rules, rules for how Windows 'fills in' partial DNS names, and so on), each connection that you create has its own communications settings. That is, one connection can have a different set of DNS server addresses on its TCP/IP property sheet than another connection. (I know, it sounds obvious, but it didn't work that way in Windows 95!) Generally, if a given setting isn't connection-specific but instead is global, the relevant property sheet advises you of the fact.
Creating a connection
A connectoid is Microspeak for a connection icon. You create connectoids by using the Create New Connection Wizard in the Network Connections virtual folder, as Lab 13-1 demonstrates. You can create as many connections as you want; each time you create a new connection, a new connectoid appears in the Network Connections folder.
The procedure for creating a dial-up connection is similar whether you're creating a 'regular' dial-up link, a virtual private network link, or a direct cable connection. Lab 13-1 demonstrates the procedure for a plain vanilla modem link and assumes that you've installed a modem.