Windows Internet Naming Service

What Does Windows Internet Naming Service Mean?

The Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) converts NetBIOS host names into IP addresses. It allows Windows machines on a given LAN segment to recognize Windows machines on other LAN segments.


Techopedia Explains Windows Internet Naming Service

WINS is similar to DNS in that they both provide name resolution on TCP/IP networks, but WINS resolves NetBIOS names while DNS resolves domain names. A network will require a WINS server when there are older applications that use NetBIOS. Windows XP and Windows 2000 started using DNS names instead of (or in addition) to NetBIOS names and so DNS emerged at this point as Microsoft’s solution to network name resolution.

If a WINS server does not exist, resolution of NetBIOS host names can be done by the LMHOSTS file, which is a static file on each workstation.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…