Are my computers on the same network?
One of the most common technical support issues we handle involves helping Virtual TimeClock users understand how their local network works in conjunction with Virtual TimeClock. This article will explain why it's necessary for the TimeClock Server and TimeClock clients to be on the same network and how to check the network connection on a Windows or macOS computer.
Understanding your local network
Virtual TimeClock Network Edition relies on your local area network (LAN) to connect your TimeClock Server and TimeClock clients together. If you have a simple local network, this connection process is very straightforward. However, if you have multiple networks at your office, you may experience difficulty connecting Virtual TimeClock Network Edition if your computers have not been configured properly.
For example, many companies have both a staff WiFi network and a guest WiFi network. If your TimeClock Server is on your staff network, but your client computer is connected to the guest network, they will not be able to connect. Worse yet, if your computer switches automatically between networks depending on signal strength, this can make TimeClock connections sporadic and undependable even after TimeClock connection is established previously. To remedy this issue, you may need to disable automatic network connections in your computer's network settings.
Understanding your computer's IP address
Virtual TimeClock Network Edition connects over your local network via IP address. For two or more computers to connect via IP address, the computers must be on the same network (as outlined above). Let's take a minute to understand how IP addresses work. This will help you know if your computers are on the same network.
A common IP address might be 192.168.1.10. The first three sets of numbers in this address identify the network while the last set of numbers (shown in bold) is unique to each device on your local network. For two or more computers to be on the same network, the first three sets of numbers in their IP addresses must be identical. A computer with an IP address of 192.168.2.11 is on a different network (in this case, a sub-network) than the first IP address mentioned above. We know this because the third set of numbers (in this case a single digit 2) does not match the third set of numbers from the original IP address (which was a 1).
How to check your computer's network connection
Locating your computer's IP address will indicate what network you are on. You can then compare the IP addresses of your TimeClock Server and TimeClock clients to determine if they are on the same network.
Note: Find your TimeClock Server IP address by opening the Server Manager program and noting the Local IP Address in the Networking or TCP row of the Status tab.
Follow the steps below to check the network connection (IP address) on your TimeClock client computers.
- Click the Windows Start button and type "command"
- Select the Command Prompt.
- Type "ipconfig" to view basic network settings.
- Note the IPv4 Address.
- Click the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
- Select Network to view basic network settings.
- Note the IP Address.