This section deals with the most fundamental network issue: connecting to your NFCS. In most cases, the NFCS is preconfigured for your network before delivery. If you can connect to the NFCS web interface home page, skip this entire chapter.
If you can't connect to the NFCS at all, there are only a few possible reasons:
- The network cable is defective
- There is a network problem
- The NFCS is damaged
- The NFCS is configured for a different network
If the problem is #4, you must configure a computer to match the NFCS network settings and update the NFCS to match your network.
Collecting Network Information
First you'll want to collect information about your network. If you're running Windows, bring up a command prompt window. You can do this by clicking Start, then selecting Run.... In the popup, type 'cmd' and press Enter.
In the command prompt window, type ipconfig /all. This will display information about your network. Make a note of the following:
- IP Address (192.168.1.173 in the example at the right)
- Default Gateway (192.168.1.11 in the example at the right)
- DNS Server(s) (192.168.1.11 in the example at the right)
In other operating systems, ipconfig or ifconfig may provide this information. The 'Default Gateway' and 'DNS Server' information will be used to configure the NFCS. The IP address will be used to ensure that the NFCS is set up for your network.
Mini-tutorial: The NFCS is designed to live on a class C network, which means that the first three numbers of its IP address will match the first three numbers of every other computer on the network. In the example at the right, the IP address of the Windows computer is 192.168.1.173 which means that the address of the NFCS will be 192.168.1.x where 'x' has to be an unused number.
NOTE: The IP address that you see on your PC is for the PC itself. DO NOT use this address for the NFCS!
At this point, check the NFCS IP address (on the inside of the front cover). If the first three numbers match the first three numbers of your computer's IP address, then the NFCS is configured for your network - problem #4 above can be ruled out. If that's the case, then try a different network cable. If that doesn't work, you might have a problem with another computer or network device at the same address as the NFCS. Unplu the NFCS and try the steps in 'Finding an Unused IP Address' below.
For the rest of this example, we'll assume that the first three number of the IP didn't match - the network is 192.168.1.x, and the NFCS is set up with an IP address of 192.168.0.20.
Finding an Unused IP Address
Now it's necessary to find an unused IP address on your network. In general, addresses where the last number is between 5 and 25 are more likely to be available. A quick (but not absolutely definitive) test is to use ping to test an address and see if there's a response. Continuing with this example we might try 192.168.1.5 as a prospective address for the NFCS. In the command prompt window, try the command ping 192.168.1.5. If you're lucky, you'll get a few 'Request timed out' messages, indicating that there's likely no computer at that address. If you get a response, try another address such as 192.168.1.6.
In this example, the addresses in the network are all 192.168.1.x. This is a common value, and is the default for networks with a Linksys router. Other common address ranges are 192.168.0.x and 10.0.0.x. Whatever the address block that's in use on your network, you'll need to find an unused IP address in that block. Once you have an unused address, write it down. We'll need it in the 'Changing NFCS Network Settings' section below.