How To Add and Configure the IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Protocol in Windows XP

This 2020 blog post tells you how to add and configure the IPX/SPX/NetBIOS compatible protocol in Windows XP.

Warning: You use the old protocol and Windows XP at your own risk.

Windows XP Local Area Connection Properties

Please note: I use ‘classic view’ in Control Panel and step one below reflects that.

How to add IPX/SPX/NetBIOS in Microsoft Windows XP:

  1. Open ‘Control Panel’ and select ‘Network Connections’.
  2. Right-click on your LAN connection and select ‘Properties’.Windows XP Network Connections
  3. Select ‘Install’, ‘Protocol’ and then ‘Add’.
  4. Choose the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol’.
  5. Once you added the protocol to the list, select it and click on ‘Properties’.
  6. Change the internet network number to something unique. i.e. 00000001 *Internal network number
  7. Select ‘OK’ and then ‘Close’.

* For another computer in the network, choose a different number, such as 0000002 and so on.

Playing Red Alert 2 multiplayer LAN games on Windows XP
I’ve recently setup two old laptops running Windows XP, gave them static IP addresses in the same range and connected them together using an ethernet cable to play old games.

One of those games is Red Alert 2 and using the same seven steps mentioned above to configure the network adapter, I didn’t have to configure the network options in the game at all, as the screenshot below shows you.

Red Alert 2 LAN settings

I just made sure the selected MAC address in the game options is the same as my network adapter and both computers are running the 1.06 patch.

Whilst configuring the compatible protocol on first appearance can look complex, it often is straightforward to get working. I hope you’ve find this blog post helpful.

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