Computers that run Microsoft windows use computer names and need a unique name. They use NETBIOS Names which is 16 characters in length. (The 16 character is reserved for NETBIOS Suffix to represent service and as a result computer names are maximum 15 characters long) Computer names use alphanumeric characters for naming convention and are assigned by the administrator.
On a Microsoft windows network that uses IP, computers can be accessed using computer names instead of IP addresses as these are easier to remember and identify.
Hostname is a command line utility that can retrieve computer name.
NetBIOS over TCP/IP
NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT, or sometimes NetBT) is a networking protocol that enables legacy computer applications (relying on the NetBIOS API) to run on modern TCP/IP networks. NetBIOS was developed in the early 1980s, targeting very small networks (about a dozen computers).
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) is Microsoft’s implementation of NetBIOS Name Service (NBNS), a name server and service for NetBIOS computer names. WINS is to NETBIOS Names just as DNS is to hostnames, providing name resolution services for computers running windows on a Microsoft Windows network.
Unlike DNS that requires static IP addresses, WINS supports name resolution mapping using dynamic IP addresses assigned to computers. For example a computer configured as a WINS client (for example, client01) registers itself with a WINS server (for example, winserver01) on joining the network with its NETBIOS name (Computer name) along with its IP address. Now, when another computer (for example, client02) needs to access client01, it contacts the WINS server to retrieve the IP address and communicates with the client01. This eliminates the
need for broadcasting to find the client and helps in reducing network traff Additionally, WINS clients can also work with static IP address environments. Lab: Install WINS Servo
NOTSTAT is a command line utility for viewing statistics of NetBIOS over TCP/IP. Lab: Use NBTSTAT
DNS requires hosts to be assigned static IP addresses. DNS is not suitable when using DHCP environments; as the IP addresses keeps changing over time and the DNS service requires permanent IP addresses for its records. For example if a consumer using a DSL or cable modem wants to host a website on their computers and to be made accessible to the public, it is not practically possible as their public IP address changes over shorter period of times. In such a scenario, DDNS can be used.
Similar to WINS, DDNS clients can make use of dynamic IP address and computers can be accessed using hostnames or domain names. How? For example, if you are initially assigned a dynamic public address of 18.104.22.168, your computer can be configured to update its IP address along with the hostname or domain name to a machine with DDNS. If the public address changes, the DDNS client will automatically contact and update the DDNS with the changed IP address. Today, there are a many DDNS providers on the Internet, offering their service free or for a small fee. Examples of service providers include (not limited to):
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