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NetWare Link (NWLink)

Last updated: October 4, 2018

NetWare Link (NWLink) is a Microsoft Windows implementation of Novell's NetWare Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) protocol. NWLink serves as a transport protocol packet routing via internetworks. Independently, the NWLink protocol prevents users from accessing network data.Easy installation and configuration are key NWLink benefits.

NWLink, which complies with the Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS), is used as required by IPX/SPX, such as for proxy or Structured Query Language (SQL) or Exchange servers.


NWLink connects NetWare servers through the Gateway Service for NetWare or Client Service for NetWare and provides the transport protocol that connects Windows operating systems to IPX/SPX NetWare networks and compatible operating systems. NWLink supports NetBIOS and Windows Sockets application programming interfaces (API).

NWLink protocols are as follows:

  • IPX
  • Service Advertising Protocol (SAP)
  • Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
  • NetBIOS
  • Forwarder

NWLink also provides the following functionalities:

  • Runs other communication protocol stacks, such as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
  • Uses multiple frame types for network adapter binding

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