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NetBIOS

NetBIOS

(also Network Basic Input/Output System)

NetBIOS definition

NetBIOS, or Network Basic Input/Output System, is an API (application programming interface) that enables communication between computers on a local network. It provides services such as name registration and resolution, session establishment, and message sending. Although an older technology, it is still used in some Windows-based networks for tasks like file and printer sharing.

See also: DNS over HTTPS, VPN gateway

NetBIOS examples

  • Name registration: NetBIOS allows computers to register their names on a local network, making it easier for users to find and access shared resources.
  • Name resolution: NetBIOS resolves names to IP addresses, allowing computers to communicate with one another on a local network.
  • Session establishment: NetBIOS establishes sessions for applications to send and receive data over the network.

Comparing NetBIOS to DNS

While both NetBIOS and DNS (Domain Name System) provide name resolution services, DNS is a more scalable and efficient solution for larger networks and the internet. NetBIOS is best suited for small local networks, while DNS is designed for larger networks and the global internet.

NetBIOS security considerations

Due to its age and design, NetBIOS can be vulnerable to various cyberattacks, such as traffic interception and spoofing. To mitigate these risks, it is recommended to use newer technologies like DNS and secure network protocols like SMB (Server Message Block) over a VPN.

Tips for securing NetBIOS

  • Disable NetBIOS if it is not necessary for your network environment.
  • Implement firewalls and network security best practices to limit NetBIOS exposure.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security