Windows Vista brings to the table a collection of advanced network features. And some of the Vista user complaints related to the operating system were associated with the network connectivity issues. Windows Vista is simply a standing target in such cases and the user frustration is targeted at the operating system. However, it may not be Vista's fault.
In order to support the benefit of the doubt, Microsoft has made available the Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool. "The Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool is designed to be run on your home network behind a home Internet router (NAT). It runs a series of tests that will let you know if certain advanced features in Windows Vista will be supported behind your current router. If the tests show your router does not support the advanced networking features in Windows Vista, they'll further help you by giving you a better understanding of what features to look for when purchasing a new router that will take full advantage of Windows Vista," revealed Nick White, Microsoft Product Manager.
The Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool implies only an online test that can take up to 10 minutes, although for me it was more like 1 minute. You simply have to agree to the license and have a licensed copy of either Windows XP or Windows Vista. Microsoft has even warned that the test could interrupt the Internet connection.
The Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool will perform a collection of tests on your router including a Basic Internet Connectivity Test, Network Address Translator Type, Traffic Congestion Test, TCP High Performance Test, UPnP Support Test and Multiple Simultaneous Connection States Test.
Although my router failed to pass the Network Address Translator Type and UPnP Support tests, I still got this message: "Congratulations! You have basic Internet connectivity and browsing, and your Internet router should work just as well with Windows Vista as with your current/previous operating system. However, some of the new Windows Vista features are not currently supported by your router."