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By Chris De Herrera 
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The Ultimate in High-Speed Synch
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website

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For a fast way to send or receive data with your Pocket PC, use Ethernet to synchronize and retrieve your e-mail. Ethernet, the network hardware used extensively throughout the Internet, allows two or more computers to communicate at 10 megabits per second. And that's fast!

Now you can use Ethernet to quickly synchronize and put e-mail in the palm of your hand. Your Pocket PC supports Microsoft« ActiveSync« technology for back-ups, installations, and almost anything you can do with a serial connection. With Ethernet, you can do it at an even faster speed. For example, a full backup of an 8 MB system takes less than five minutes. Because Ethernet is so fast, there are no more excuses for not making regular backups!

These instructions are for people without a corporate network who are interested in setting up Ethernet support for a Pocket PC and a single PC running the Microsoft Windows« 95/98, Windows Me or Windows 2000 operating system. Alternatively, if you wish to connect with a corporate network, you should be able to easily connect your Pocket PCs via Ethernet. Contact your network administrator for assistance before attempting to connect.

My personal Web site, Pocket PC FAQ has additional details on how to set other configurations on your desktop -- including the Windows NT« operating system -- to support Ethernet for the Pocket PC, as well as troubleshooting tips.

What You Need

PC Configuration

You must configure your PC for Ethernet and install the Client for Microsoft Networks and the TCP/IP protocol. Don't forget to fill in the identification section. To do this, follow these instructions:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Control Panel.
  4. Click Network.
  5. Fill in the address field.

I recommend using the TCP/IP address, subnet mask

Before you begin using Ethernet, install ActiveSync 3.1 on the PC.

Pocket PC Configuration

You must follow a few preliminary steps before loading new components for Ethernet.

  1. Establish a serial cable, infrared, or USB connection to the PC with which you are going to use ActiveSync. This is required to put the PC's computer name in your Pocket PC for use with Ethernet.
  2. Install the Ethernet drivers from the Ethernet vendor's installation disk. This will add a Network Control Panel as well as other relevant files. This installation requires less than 250 kilobytes of free memory for storage. You may also use the built-in NE-2000 drivers if you prefer to save the storage space.
  3. Reset the device to load the new components.

Next, configure the Network Control Panel for Ethernet on your Pocket PC.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Network.

    Figure 1: Example of the TCP/IP Properties for Socket's Low Power Ethernet CF+ Card.


  4. Enter the IP address for the Pocket PC. I suggest the TCP/IP address with subnet mask, and the WINS server address, which is the PC's IP address ( using my recommended setting).
  5. Leave the other fields blank.

    Figure 2: Properly configured Network Control Panel settings on the Pocket PC.


  1. Plug both the Pocket PC and the PC into the hub. (If you are using a crossover cable, you can connect the Pocket PC and PC directly without a hub.)
  2. Turn on the PC and the Pocket PC and plug the Ethernet PC card into your Pocket PC.
  3. To start an ActiveSync session, select ActiveSync on your Pocket PC (choose Start, then Programs, and then Connections). Make sure the Method is set to Network Connection and the Connect To matches the PC computer's name. Then click Connect to start ActiveSync communications.

If you enable continuous ActiveSync synchronization, your Pocket PC will stay up-to-date, downloading new e-mail, tasks, contacts, and other files and data whenever it's connected to your desktop PC.


After plugging your Ethernet PC card into your Pocket PC, check for a link light on the PC's Ethernet card. If it is not lit, you are having a cable or hub problem.


Congratulations! You've just connected and begun synchronization via Ethernet. Go forth and be up-to-date wherever you are!

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