Upgrade your business network with Windows 7 Pro features

Hidden beneath Windows 7's hood are many new networking features that you won't find in XP

By , PC World |  Networking, Windows 7

You may not need your IT department's help with networking problems, though. Windows 7 comes with an update on Vista's diagnose-and-repair feature, called 'Fix a network problem'. This automatic check-and-fix utility can't solve every network problem, but it's useful for cleaning up the most common difficulties.

Location-Aware Printing

Besides these home-user features, Windows 7 has lots of improved capabilities for business users and network administrators. Suppose, for instance, that you regularly take your business laptop home and then back to work. With Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, you can use location-aware printing to switch printers automatically, depending on where you are. Afterward, Windows 7 will automatically send your print jobs to your study's printer (if you're at home) or to your office's main printer (if you're at work).

View Available Networks

Users on the road will appreciate Windows 's new VAN (View Available Networks) feature, which gives you a clear, convenient look at all available network options, from Wi-Fi to VPN (virtual private network) to 3G. It's a small but very useful feature.

Next page: Manage quality of service--and features specific to business editions of Windows

URL-Based Quality of Service

Quality of Service (QoS) is invisible to Windows 7 users, but the OS lets network administrators set up QoS policies based on Web addresses--that is, on URLs. With this feature, a system manager can set arrange for traffic from the local branch's SharePoint server or from the corporate server that hosts training videos to receive higher network priority than, say, traffic consisting of YouTube videos of zombies vs. gamers.

With more and more applications' being hosted on servers, enabling administrators to easily ensure that high-priority network traffic gets through becomes more crucial than ever.

Direct Access

Two major network features in Windows 7 are available only to Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2008 R2 users. DirectAccess is, in essence, an IPSec VPN that runs--thanks to Teredo again-- over IPv6 on ordinary IPv4-base LANs and the Internet.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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