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By JimKlallsoo ·
I am new to networking, although i am helping administer a network and would like someone to explain the following to me:

I believe the following to be an accurate picture of Windows networks.

NETBIOS - Is the Name of the PC e.g. (PC1)

DNS resolves the IP address of the PC against a pc's name, therefore if i ping PC1 it will return reply from PC1 and give me its IP address.

Reverse DNS resolves the IP address of a PC to the NETBIOS/DNS name, therefore if i ping it will return the name of the PC e.g. PC1.

WINS resolves the name of the PC for older pc's like Win NT and Windows 98 as DNS was not in play or DNS has since taken over WINS duites

DHCP assigns an available IP address to a PC which logs onto the network, provided the pc has "obtain an IP address automatially" in its network TCP/IP options.

Question 1 - Why not just do away with WINS as 98/NT have DNS options in their network TCP/IP properties. Why did we need WINS?

Question 2 - On an NT/98 PC do i need to insert a DNS server address in TCP/IP properties box if i have those PC's WINS server properties in netowrk TP/IP pointing to the WINS server?

Quesrion 3 - Why is there an option saying use NETBIOS over TCP/IP in network card properties?

Question 4 - Why do we require reverse DNS?

Question 5 - If the name of the PC sits on the DNS server do we still use NETBIOS

Any help assistance greatly appreciated

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by BudTheGrey In reply to WINS, DHCP, DNS and NETI ...

Well, your presumtions are close:

"NetBIOS" is a protocol for transferring data between computers. Part of the spec is that computers on NretBIOS network all have to have names (limited to 15 characters, IIRC)

DNS is a database that matches host names (devices on an IP network are called "hosts". DNS has two modes-- forward and reverse, and you seem to have a handle on that. Most often, the DNS database has to be manually updated (keep that in mind)

Usually, the host name and the NetBIOS name of a computer are the same, but they do not have to be.

WINS was/is an attempt to automate host lookup. Once a host knows what it's IP address is (preconfigured, or through a DHCP server), if a WINS server has been configured, the host contacts the WINS server and says "hey! My name is PC1 and my Ip address is x.x.x.x)". Then, when other NetBIOS hosts are looking for services on PC1, they WINS server knows where PC1 is.

Answer 1: if you are in a Wnin2K or Win2K3 environment, with DNS and AD properly integrated, you probably don't need WINS.

Answer 2: Entering a valid DNS server address is always a good idea.

Answer 3: NetBios can run over several protocols.

Answer 4: for internal DSN, you probably don't. If you are handling DNS for your domain on the internet, it's usually good practice to have reverse DNS set up for your internet accessable hosts: Web, SMTP, etc.

Answer 5: Depands on your network setup.

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by razz2 In reply to WINS, DHCP, DNS and NETI ...

You are on the right track.

NETBIOS is a protocol like BudTheGray said and part of that is the NETBIOS name.

The NETBIOS name and the HOST however are two different things. In a DNS namespace you use HOST names. NETBIOS names used to be resolved by broadcast or an LMHOST file but to make managment easier they created WINS. In a LAN a DHCP server would have a scope of ip address'. A client would be allocated an ip. WINS is a database of NETBIOS (NOT HOST) names to ip. The DHCP server can add the entry to WINS for you.

DNS is a name space. It uses fully qulified domain names starting with a root "." and then the ".net", ".com", etc. Then "" and the like. A DNS server maps HOST names in a fully qualified domain.

So to recap: NETBIOS name --> ip = WINS
HOST name --> ip = DNS Server

Question 1 Answer: In a windows network there will be a NETBIOS name along with a host name, but WINS is not required if the LAN is using DNS clients. Some people install it simply to suppliment the resolution options.

Question 2 Answer: You should. Lets assume a LAN with an NT server and no internal DNS. The DNS might point to the firewall for internet dns resolution, for NETBIOS inside the LAN you might use WINS. That said I would setup DNS in all LANS as it provides much greater flexability then WINS.

Question 3 Answer: TCP/IP uses DNS. NETBIOS is a seperate protocol but can piggy back on other protocols. NETBIOS is less secure though the option is to leave it disabled on TCP if wanted.

Question 4 Answer: The best example is email. If I send a message, the message will reference my domain, mail server, and an ip. Using that ip, a reverse DNS can see if the DNS entry is real and matches the stated domain or not.

Question 5 Answer: Again, windows still generates NETBIOS names. Whether you use them is up to you. If you use DNS and it is setup correctly then no. If you need backwards compatability then yes.

Good Luck,


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