When you go to the Alternate Configuration tab, its interface allows you to manually add the static IP address, default gateway, DNS server address, and WINS address. With the help of this configuration, you can tell your computer to obtain the IP address automatically from the DHCP server under normal circumstances when the DHCP server is available. However if the DHCP server fails to provide the IP addresses, the configuration made in the Alternate Configuration tab is automatically used by the computer, hence allowing the computer to communicate with the network without facing any downtime.
While providing the information in the Alternate Configuration tab, it is important that you assign the IP address of the same range that the DHCP server assigns when the address is obtained automatically. For example, if the DHCP server in your network is configured to assign the automatic IP addresses of 192.168.0.0 range, and the IP address that your computer mostly gets is 192.168.0.5, you should always provide 192.168.0.5 IP address in the Alternate Configuration field. This way even if the DHCP server fails to automatically assign the IP address, your system can still communicate with the network, and sometimes with the Internet as well, without giving the administrators or other users the pain of memorizing the different IP address.
Here is what you need to do in order to configure the Alternate Configuration tab on your computer:
- Log on to the computer with the administrator account.
- After logging on, on the desktop screen, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to initiate the Run command box.
- In the available field, type the NCPA.CPL command and hit Enter key.
- On the opened Network Connections window, right-click the network adapter icon that is connected to the network and is active.
- From the displayed context menu, go to the Properties option.
- On the opened properties box, from the displayed list, double-click the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option.
- On the opened Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties box, make sure that the Obtain IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically radio buttons are selected.
- Go to the Alternate Configuration tab.
- From the displayed interface, click to select the User configured radio button.
- Populate the enabled fields with the appropriate values.
- Click OK to save the modifications.
- Back on the network interface card properties box, click OK again to finalize the settings.