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IP Commands for DOS/Windows

The IP command in Windows is used for managing network configurations and network-related tasks.

For those of us who aren’t technologically inclined, taking the time to learn about and understand the tools we can utilize with our computers may feel daunting. However, the operating system our devices use come with various pre-installed functions that can make our online lives much easier.

For example, there are a multitude of IP commands for DOS/Windows that can help make computer tasks and online work easier. Let’s take a look.

What you need to know about IP commands

The fundamentals of IP commands are vital to understand for anyone living in the modern digital age. These commands play a crucial role in file sharing, Internet connection, troubleshooting and correcting any network issues, and increasing cybersecurity.

Let’s explore what IP commands are and how they work, how these commands may change across different operating systems, the most common IP commands for DOS/Windows, and the importance of IP commands in cybersecurity.

What are DOS/Windows IP commands?

DOS/Windows IP (Internet Protocol) commands utilize your IP address and act as instructions to help your computer communicate with other devices and navigate through network connections. 

These communications then form a unique language: Imagine IP commands as the language computers, servers, and other smart devices use to talk to one another.

The following issues can be addressed by DOS/Windows IP commands:

  • Assignment of IP addresses to network interfaces
  • Configuration of network interfaces and parameters
  • Online connection issues
  • Troubleshooting device and operating system issues
  • Shortcuts to computer functions

How do IP commands work?

Much like IP addresses, IP commands allow your computer or smart device to receive and send online data. These commands specify the source and destination of data packets — small bits of information that enable your connection. 

Think of data packets as tiny virtual envelopes that contain the information you’re sending. The data packet envelope contains messages like emails, file transfers, and website requests. Here are some of the ways in which IP commands work to send your data:

Identify the source and destination for a request:

A request is sent through your computer each time you click on a website, an application, or an email.Your computer then uses IP commands to identify itself (the source) in the request and then identifies its intended destination (the website, app, or email, etc.). 

The IP addresses of both the source and the destination then enable the request to go through. Essentially, IP commands and IP addresses are the digital equivalent of the physical postal service.

Routing through the network:

The data packets sent with your request then route, via IP commands, through multiple servers and networks to reach your destination. IP commands enable your data to travel safely and efficiently to reach its destination.

In keeping with the physical postal service example, think of the routing process as similar to the postal hubs your snail mail might travel through. 

For instance, if your mail is addressed to a small town on the outskirts of New York City, it will initially arrive in NYC before being sent ahead to the smaller post office in the small town.

Accurate responses:

After your virtual data envelopes arrive at their destination, the device destination will process your request and send back a response. Without IP commands, an accurate response is impossible — the target device won’t have access to your IP address and will send its response to the Internet abyss.

Effective two-way communication is vital to browse the web, download a file, or send an email.

Do all operating systems use IP commands?  

As IP commands are an integral aspect of digital communication, they’re used by all operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. In fact, all smart devices, including smartphones, utilize IP commands for seamless Internet connections and secure data exchanges and transfers.

What is DOS?

DOS stands for Disk Operating System, and refers to a system that operates on a disk drive. The first personal computers (PCs) all ran on DOS. However, even as computers evolve and utilize various operating systems, many people still use DOS.

Microsoft personal computers are commonly DOS operated and MS-DOS is one of the most common forms of a disk operating system that still exists. This system allows commands to access, control, and manage a device’s hard drive, memory, and processor.

Understanding IP Commands

DOS and Windows operate IP commands in similar ways. There are a plethora of IP commands that both rely on to ensure you can quickly and smoothly navigate through your online activities.

For example, if you type the URL of a website into your search bar, both operating systems will use an IP command to locate the host server of a website. In this instance, the IP command allows you to:

  • Establish a connection with the website
  • Send a request to the host server for a website’s content
  • Display the website content on your computer screen

IP commands are cross-platform compatible

IP commands are universal, which means that different operating systems can still communicate with one another. MacBooks, Linux, mobile iOS and Android systems, and Windows all use IP commands.

Globally, we can all communicate across the Internet and IP commands help to make this possible. By understanding these commands, we can troubleshoot connectivity and data issues, even if we’re using a new or unfamiliar device.

How to use an IP command in DOS/Windows

IP commands are fantastic tools for DOS/Windows users who want to gain a deeper understanding of network management. From the Windows Command Prompt, you can handle almost all of your network tasks. These commands can be valuable for network administrators and everyday computer users alike. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use IP commands in DOS/Windows:

  • Open the Windows Command Prompt. Press Win + R, type “cmd,” and then hit enter to open the command prompt.
  • Check your network interfaces. You can use IP commands to open a list of your network interfaces by entering the command “bash,” followed by “copy code.” The list of network interfaces will appear, along with the configurations for each interface.
  • Enable specific interfaces. On the command line, enter “vbnet.” Then enter “copy code.” Under “set interface,” enter the interface name.
  • Assign IP addresses to network interfaces. On the command line, enter “vbent” again, followed by “copy code.” Enter the interface name, specific IP address, the correct SUBNET_MASK, and the appropriate gateway.
  • View your network routing table. On the command line, enter “arduino,” then “copy code,” and your current routing information will appear.
  • Add additional routes. You can customize your routes by typing “csharp,” followed by “copy code.” Enter your destination, SUBNET_MASK, and specific gateway.
  • Remove IP addresses and routes. On the command line, enter “netsh” or “route,” and follow the instructions.

What are the most common IP commands for DOS/Windows?

Although there are many IP commands available, learning the most common DOS/Windows commands will help you bolster your cybersecurity and enjoy seamless Internet activity.

Here are some of the tasks IP commands complete, and the most common and practical commands for DOS/Windows:

Confirm network connection:

The IP command to confirm network connectivity is Ping. By entering C:> ping, you’re asking your target server or website if they’re available to receive requests. Ping searches to ensure you connect with a remote server and measures the time it will take to get a response.

In Windows, pull up the Command Prompt. Type ping or the IP address you’re trying to reach into the command line and ping will determine if the address is active and if it can respond in a timely manner.

Connection configuration:

By entering the IP command, C:\>Ipconfig/all, you can obtain information about your device’s IP configuration. If you need to find your IP address or troubleshoot any network issues you experience. 

This IP command also refreshes your DNS (Domain Name System) settings. Under the command prompt, you can also type ipconfig. to use this tool.

DNS cache information:

To retrieve your DNS cache information, enter C:\>ipconfig/displaydns. Your DNS cache keeps a record of your online activity by recording domain names and previously connected IP addresses. This allows you to experience a faster connection to your destinations.

The IP command ipconfig/displaydns erases this cache, but will show you the domain name or IP address, record type, and section of your connections.

DNS registry:

To register or update your DNS list, you can use the IP command, ipconfig/registerdns. This command also allows you to rectify any DNS name issues.

Host lookup:

The host lookup IP command allows you to translate DNS names to IP addresses, identify servers, find the DNS name for an IP address, and discover the email address of a DNS. 

To use this command, simply enter the Windows Command Prompt, type “nslookup,” space, and then the DNS or IP address you’re looking up.

Network monitoring:

Netstat is a helpful IP command to monitor your network. This command will display your active connections, listening ports, and routing tables. Open the Windows Command Prompt and enter “netstat.”


You can modify your local IP address routing table with the route command — this command allows you to determine how network data is forwarded. To use the route command. Enter “route,” followed by the destination network address, the name of the local interface, and then any additional control options.


The tracert IP command works as its name implies: it traces the path the virtual data envelopes (or, data packets) takes to reach their intended destination. To use this command, enter “tracert,” followed by a space, and then enter the domain name or IP address of your destination.

Why IP commands are important for cybersecurity

By understanding how IP commands for DOS/Windows work, you’re also able to take crucial steps to strengthen your cybersecurity. Here’s how:

DNS security:

The nslookup IP command allows you to verify websites and ensure they aren’t phishing scams or other types of malware threats. This command confirms domain names and IP addresses and helps you to avoid falling victim to online hackers.

Firewall configuration:

Firewalls are an important component to keeping your computer secure. IP commands can help you check and configure your firewall settings to ensure you’ve downloaded the correct updates.

Intrusion detection:

You can use IP commands to regularly inspect your network traffic, thus giving you the ability to detect any unusual or malicious network activity. By proactively checking your network, you can respond to any security threats before they wreak havoc on your operating system, your business, and your personal life.

Network monitoring:

Netstat and tracert IP commands allow you to monitor your network and thwart any unauthorized activity.


IP commands like ping and ipconfig can help you diagnose and resolve network and operating system issues. Proactive troubleshooting can also reduce the risk of future security breaches.

What Is My IP Address can help

IP commands for DOS/Windows can seem intimidating, but once you have a grasp on their functions, they’re easy-to-use, valuable tools to help you navigate digital life, facilitate online communication, troubleshoot your network, and strengthen your cybersecurity. 

The next time you run into suspicious network activity, or just want to resolve a network issue, you can use simple yet powerful IP commands. Your keys to a safe and connected online experience await.Visit What Is My IP Address for more digital tools, and be sure to check out our blog for the latest in cybersecurity insights and tips.

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