Network Driver Interface Specification

What Does Network Driver Interface Specification Mean?

The Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) is an application programming interface (API) standard for network devices, such as network interface cards (NIC) and drivers. NDIS uses transport protocols – like Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), native Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI) – to facilitate communication between network devices and transport protocols via a set of complex functions.


NDIS was a collaborative development effort between Microsoft and 3Com.

Techopedia Explains Network Driver Interface Specification

NDIS is primarily used in Microsoft Windows operating systems (OS). Projects like NDISWrapper and Project Evil have open-source driver wrappers that allow NDIS-compatible NIC cards to work with operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD.

NDIS is supported by the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (NDIS 6.20)
  • Windows Server 2008 (NDIS 6.1)
  • Windows Vista SP1
  • Windows Vista (NDIS 6.0)
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (NDIS 5.2)
  • Windows XP, Server 2003, Windows CE 4.x and 5.0 (NDIS 5.1)
  • Windows 98, 98 SE, Me and 2000 (NDIS 5.0)
  • Windows CE 3.0 (NDIS 4.0)
  • Windows 95 OSR2, NT 4.0
  • Windows 95 (NDIS 3.1)
  • Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (NDIS 3.0)
  • OS/2 (NDIS 2.0)
  • Windows for Workgroups 3.1
  • MS-DOS

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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…