Windows includes tools for managing and monitoring TCP/IP. Whether you're troubleshooting a computer or simply looking for more information to configure it, there are five commands that can come in handy for gathering information about the computer.

For instance, you can use the ipconfig command to get information about the computer's network interfaces, including IP address, gateway, DNS servers, MAC address, and addressing type (static or DHCP). You can also use ipconfig to flush the DNS cache to overcome name resolution problems, renew address leases, and accomplish a handful of other tasks.

The hostname command will save you a trip to the network settings to determine the computer's host name. Type hostname at the command prompt to view the host name, as registered by the computer's DNS properties. The machine name specified in the network properties is used for the host name if no other is specified. The hostname command doesn't support any switches or provide any additional information.

Look to the nbtstat command to display statistics and connections for NetBIOS over TCP. You can also use nbtstat to purge the NetBIOS name cache and reload it from the lmhosts file.

Finally, use the route command to view (and modify if necessary) the computer's routing table, and the arp command to view and modify the computer's ARP table. You can also use arp to determine the MAC address of a remote computer on the network.