Server Message Block Protocol

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What Does Server Message Block Protocol Mean?

Server Message Block Protocol is predominately a Microsoft Windows protocol that allows for the sharing of folders, printers and serial ports within a given network. The current version is SMBv2 which was deployed with Windows Vista, and has since undergone more changes under Windows 7.

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Techopedia Explains Server Message Block Protocol

Server Message Block is a networking protocol that was originally developed by IBM. Microsoft improved on the protocol in the 1990s, and it now gives Windows-based networks the ability to create, modify and delete shared folders, printers and serial ports.

SMB is an application layer protocol, and in a typical deployment, it communicates via TCP port 445. SMB quickly grew in popularity as it allows for much more flexibility when compared to comparable protocols such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Within Linux environments, a program known as Samba allows Linux systems to interface with the SMB protocol.

Common Internet File System (CIFS) is the open-source version of SMB.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.