How WINS Works

NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) is the session-level network service used to provide NetBIOS naming support in the Windows NT environment, both via broadcast name resolution and via WINS. The two sides of the naming coin are called name registration and name resolution. Name registration is the process by which each computer is allocated a unique computer name. A computer normally registers its name when it boots. Name resolution is the process described earlier, by which the unknown numeric address is determined from the known computer name. The following sections examine the various NetBT modes used during the naming process first, and then the actual processes of name resolution and name registration.

Understanding NetBT Modes

NetBT defines several modes by which NetBIOS computer resources are identified. These modes differ in terms of which resources they use to resolve addresses, and in which order. They include:


Stands for broadcast-node and depends entirely on IP broadcasts to resolve names. For example, in a b-node environment, if a computer named kerby wants to communicate with a computer named thoth, kerby broadcasts a message to the entire sub-network that asks thoth to respond with its IP address. kerby waits a specified time for a response, and, if it receives no response, re-broadcasts the request.

b-node has two significant drawbacks. First, in all but the smallest network, the amount of IP traffic it generates loads the network unnecessarily. Second, ...

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