tcp/ip vs ipx/spx over a LAN

I recently set up a small LAN:

two WIN95 computers.
Both have the same ethernet card - Linksys 100tx 10/100 base-T.

I found when I installed the card and setup all the network stuff, My computer took 1.5 minutes longer to boot up and occasionally my computer would freeze for a couple seconds every now and then.

Latest driver and Linksys tech support didn't help.  I finally found that if I removed TCP/IP (leaving only IPX/SPX) for the ethernet card, then my problems went away.

I was later told that IPX/SPX is old and the preferred protocol for a LAN is TCP/IP.

How true is this, and is there any idea why using the TCP/IP causes those delays?  (someone mentioned DHCP and auto assigning IP addressed - could this have an influence?)

Any help/information would be appreciated.
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Your comment:
>(someone mentioned DHCP and auto assigning IP addressed - could this have an influence?)

This is one reason why there is a delay.

By default when you install tcp/ip windows thinks you are going to part of a huge network where the IP addresses are managed.
What this means to you is your computer while booting announces its presence to the network and waits patiently to be assigned an ip address so it can work with other computers using tcp/ip.

The troubles is if there is no DHCP server machine to give it an address, your pc waits for a period of time and when no address is given, continues to load windows.

At this point you also have no tcp/ip address.

To correct this you have to modify the properties in the tcp/ip setting so you manually enter an address and subnetmask.

These addresses must make sense and here's of how i would address your machines.

In TCP/ip settings for you NIC enter these values.

ip address


On the other machine


AS you have mentioned that you a 1.5 min wait i think there may be more problems so after modifying TCP/ip compare the new times and post further comment.


red5Author Commented:
Thanks very much.  I will try that.

In the mean time, do you know what advantage there is in using TCP/IP over IPX/SPX?
TCP/IP is better than ipx/spx for larger networks, it has a lot more functionality for routing and the like.  To put it in laymans terms TCP/IP is good for larger network say 200 pcs plus, but it takes a bit more administration (DHCP etc) than IPX/SPX or Netbeui. IPX/SPX is fine for small to medium sized networks, but starts to become a nightmare when you get onto larger networks ( due to its chatty nature).  For a small network a couple of pcs Netbeui is usually the one to plumb but you'll need to change to ipx/spx if you go above 10 pcs or start doing routing.

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red5Author Commented:
Here are my test results.

(boot time measured from "Starting Windows 98" to start of GUI)

With only IPX/SPX and NetBEUI, boot time was 43 seconds.

With TCP/IP added (with obtain IP address automatically), boot time was 2 minutes 13 seconds.

With TCP/IP added (with specified IP address/subnet mask), boot time was 45 seconds.

Looks like you were right, netmage.  Thanks.

rspiteri also answered part of my question.

So, I have one more part to this question, then I'll give both of you points:

If I have NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP all enabled for my ethernet card, when my two computers are talking, which protocol do they use?
If you have all the protocols bound it depends on what application you use, for example a netware client will talk
IPX/SPX by default ( unless you specify tcp/ip in the client preferences ).

If you use tcp/ip type connection method such as ftp, http etc it will obviously use the tcp/ip stack.  

If your copying stuff using things like microsoft shares ( knowing the way microsoft puts its OS together ) it'll probably use Netbeui.
Certain applications have a preference for the type of protocol they use.

In Windows NT & 2000 you can specify the binding order ( i.e. the order in which it'll attempt use the protocols)but I'm fairly sure you can't do this for 98 & 95
Microsoft don't prefer netbeui due to its broadcast noisy nature and its physical connection limits.

Ipx and tcp/ip are usually part of non specified network load in default for NT and tcp/ip for win98.

netbeui and ipx/spx are about 95-97% efficient. That means 95% of information sent from point A to point B into a network is useful data.

tcp/ip is 70% efficient and this extra overhead of Transport Protocol Control is what allows the internet to work.

Its kinda pointless on a small lan but if you have a few programs that can't do without it, then its the way to go.

Win98 has limited first select binding order.
This is done by checking in the advanced option of the protocol that it will be the default.

For what its worth, i actually use netbeui for diagnosing simple faults in networks and then remove it.

I mostly setup tcp/ip only when there is inter/intranet involved and use ipx/spx for a backup protocol on selected critcal machines.

Other than that i use ipx.

Regarding games, there was a time when it was really hard to use tcp/ip with  DOS games (winsock for win311 was everyones knighmare)so ipx/spx was the way to go.
Windows games seem to be the standard nowdays  and because of that its been a while since i've seen a ipx/spx only game.

I would suggest just using ONE protocol if for no other reason than it simplifies things when every machine talks the same language at the same time.

Just looking at your last question.

>If I have NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP all enabled for my ethernet card, when my two computers are talking, which protocol do they use?

I asked one of my peers about this and it was suggested that the last known good network connection sets a flag to be the default protocol on reboot except when tcp/ip has to look for a dhcp server at which time tcp/ip runs at default first protocol or as i have stated above.


I just noticed the question was locked as i was about to post this as COMMENT .

Pity the question was locked early and after you had acknowledged i had posted a viable to be tried solution.

Posting answers tends to shut down ongoing message threads and isn't needed with the new select comment as answer option.

Most experts don't bother to read answered questions.

red5Author Commented:
since rspiteri answered this question, I'll give him/her the points here.

netmage, answer the following question for your points... 
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