What is WINS

WINS is a service run on Windows NT servers to provide Windows clients a way to find other Windows computers. WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service) resolves Windows network computer names (also known as NetBIOS names) to Internet IP addresses, allowing Windows computers on a network to easily find and communicate with each other.

Using a WINS server is essential for any Windows client computer to work with other Windows computers over the Internet. In addition, using a WINS server is essential for any Windows client computer at Indiana University that intends to use Microsoft network resources. To use WINS services, you must insert into your TCP/IP networking configuration the IP address of the WINS servers you wish to use.

Role of WINS in the Network
Although NetBIOS and NetBIOS names can be used with network protocols other than TCP/IP, WINS was designed specifically to support NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT). WINS is required for any environment in which users access resources that have NetBIOS names. If you do not use WINS in such a network, you cannot connect to a remote network resource by using its NetBIOS name unless you use Lmhosts files, and you might be unable to establish file and print sharing connections.

The following figure illustrates the role of WINS for computers that use NetBIOS names. Typically, DHCP is used to assign IP addresses automatically.

WINS Name Registration and Resolution

In a typical scenario, the following occurs:

1. ClientA, which uses NetBIOS and is a WINS client, sends a name registration request to its configured primary WINS server (WINSA) when it starts up and joins the network. WINSA adds ClientA's NetBIOS name and IP address to the WINS database.

2. When ClientB needs to connect to ClientA by its name, it requests the IP address from the WINS server.

3. The WINS server locates the corresponding entry in its database and replies with ClientA's IP address.

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David World