Windows 7 brought new changes to Networking, the most important of which are:
- The way the new IPv6 standard is configured
- Changes to the DNS system
The Internet was originally designed with a networking protocol called IPv4, which allowed for about 4 billion total connected computers. This number has since been determined to not be enough, and IPv6 was developed. Although various governments and corporations have been rolling out various deployments and deadlines, it will still be many years before you as a user will be required to use IPv6 for any purpose. A more likely near-term implementation is that your next mobile phone, or refrigerator, may have only an IPv6 address – hence the need for your Internet service provider to have IPv6 support – but not so much your computer.
Further, the DNS system – the way in which a computer looks up another network address – has changed with Windows 7. It could be the address for Yahoo or Google, or the address for your Server sitting 1 meter away from you, or even your own computer!
With Windows 7, the unfortunate thing that can happen is the following:
You access a Land F/X tool, which then goes to look up the address to your F/X Server.
With IPv6 enabled and the Windows 7 changes to DNS, your computer connects to your Internet service provider’s DNS machine, which can take a number of seconds.
So in short, using Windows 7 requires making some advanced networking changes for optimal performance.
First and easiest is to simply disable IPv6 on all your computers, as it will be entirely unnecessary for a number of years, if not indefinitely.
Another solution, if you have a laptop or standalone installation, is to Restore the Loopback entry into your Hosts file that was disabled with Windows 7.
Alternately, you could change your DSN configuration to the IPv4 Loopback address, of 127.0.0.1, instead of “localhost.” But it’s frankly the same amount of effort to navigate to C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc, and remove a single # sign from the hosts file.
Other configurations have always been good to have in place with any networking setup:
Your DHCP Server, whether a Windows Small Business Server or a modem provided by your ISP, should be configured so that the Primary DNS entry is to itself. We also recommend that the secondary and tertiary DNS entries be to a robust resource such as the Google DNS project, rather than the ones provided by your ISP.
In addition, your F/X Server should of course be a dedicated Server, with its own Static IP address. This will give you the immediate and simple workaround to always just reference it by an IP address, bypassing DNS, NetBios, IPv6, AFP, and all manner of networking protocols that can slow things down.