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wiTECH and the Dealer Network: Network Concepts

Article ID: 80
Last updated: 10 Oct, 2013

The purpose of this article is to introduce basic networking concepts present in the wiTECH environment. Basic and advanced networking aspects are essential for the daily operation of the wiTECH system.

INTERNET CONNECTION

  • Ethernet over CAT5e rated cabling and Wi-Fi (802.11) are the two most common network technologies in use, and the wiTECH system supports both.

SYSTEM

  • The wiTECH System is comprised of the wiTECH Access Gateway, the wiTECH VCI Pod, and the wiTECH Diagnostic Application
  • The most effective use of the wiTECH system is to have the VCI Pod wirelessly connected to the wiTECH network and the wiTECH Diagnostic Application installed on a laptop that is wirelessly connected to the wiTECH network.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

  • The VCI Pod and StarMOBILE are network-based, pass-through diagnostic tools that allow the wiTECH Application to communicate with a vehicle they are connected to. 
    • These sophisticated tools are network-based devices interacting on the network similar to any other network device (like a PC or router). 
  • The wiTECH Access Gateway is a firewall set in transparent bridge mode with 802.11 wireless capability. 
    • This means that the wiTECH Access Gateway relies on the network infrastructure already in place at the dealership to function properly. 

TERMS

  • IP Address:  An IP Address is a unique identifier given to a device to facilitate communication on a network. IP addresses can be assigned to devices dynamically from a DHCP server or assigned manually to each device.
    • IP conflicts happen when an IP address has been assigned to more than one device.
    • This situation can cause delays and outages affecting diagnostics. 
    • An IP address defined for a device MUST be unique to that device and cannot be used by other devices. 
       
  • Subnet Mask:  A subnet mask defines the class of network and the potential range available to a device on the network.
    • If the network information supplied for the wiTECH Access Gateway contains IP addresses outside of those allowed by the subnet, the wiTECH network will not function properly. 
    • The subnet mask information needs to match other devices on the same network. 
       
  • Default Gateway:  The Default Gateway is usually the last point out of the network to the Internet.
    • This should not be confused with the single IP address requested for the wiTECH Access Gateway.
    • This IP address is important to ensure proper communication with DealerCONNECT and other outside resources. 
    • The default gateway in most cases needs to match other devices on the same network.
       
  • DNS Server:  The Domain Name Server provides an IP address–to-name relationship for devices making requests to hosts by name.
    • For example, when a request is made to www.dcctools.com, the DNS server provides the IP address information to the device making the request so the device can communicate with the dcctools.com server. 
    • Typically, DNS information matches throughout devices on the same network.

This important information provides the wiTECH system with the ability to reside and communicate on the dealer network.

Article ID: 80
Last updated: 10 Oct, 2013
Revision: 1
Views: 10188
Comments: 0
Posted: 04 Jan, 2010 by Lieber T.
Updated: 10 Oct, 2013 by Merriam L.
This article was:   Helpful | Not helpful
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