Windows XP Networking: A First Look - Page 2

 By Brien M. Posey
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To see another new feature, you can right click on an active connection to display the resulting context menu. The context menu contains an option called Bridge Connection. This option allows you to select two network connections (as long as they aren't being used by Internet Connection Sharing), and create a network bridge between them. This means that you can easily connect two different networks through a single PC. What makes this feature so interesting is that when I tested it, I wasn't even using a server. I was using Windows XP Professional.

When you actually go into a connection's properties sheet to configure or edit the connection, the properties sheet appears to be exactly like the Windows 2000 version at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, you'll notice two new tabs. The first new tab is the Authentication tab. This tab allows you to enable smart card or other certificate based authentication.

The other new tab is the Advanced tab, which contains a check box that you can use to implement a degree of firewall protection. By selecting this check box, a user can completely block or limit access to the computer by Internet users. The other new check box allows you to share your computer's Internet connection with other users. While Internet connection sharing isn't new, what is new is a feature in which you may either grant or deny other users the ability to control or to disable your shared Internet connection.

As you can see, Windows XP's prerelease code contains a wealth of new features. We'll have more when the final product ships.

Brien M. Posey is an MCSE who works as a freelance writer. His past experience includes working as the director of information systems for a national chain of health care facilities and as a network engineer for the Department of Defense. Because of the extremely high volume of e-mail that Brien receives, it's impossible for him to respond to every message, although he does read them all.

This article was originally published on Sep 18, 2001
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