Windows Internet
Naming Service

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Servers - Configuring WINS, WINS helps MS Operating Systems communicate with other computers.

After configuring your DNS service, you can either use Add Programs or Configure Your Server applet to install the WINS service.

Your network services server would have a lower work load with WINS on a MS Windows enviroment.The WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service) works in conjunction with DNS, the only configuration needed is to select the server and to 'Authorize' the server through Active Directory, catch 22 you have to have WINS to set up Active Directory, you have to have Active Directory to authorize WINS. Neat. You can leave the authorization until the Active Directory installation is complete.

WINS has a feature that can replicate itself to another WINS server. If you have another server the process is quite simple. The built in help will walk you through the process.

Having a WINS service on a Windows Domain will enhance the overall ability of DNS.

When setting up the WINS service on workstations and other servers be sure to set the option  for NetBIOS over TCP/IP. It is under the properties page for TCP/IP -->  General tab --> Advanced button --> WINS tab. After entering the WINS service server IP check the radio button for the Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP this will cut down on searches and DNS resolution time.

Note: In the first version of Vista the netBIOS option was removed from the network adapter properties, with Vista SP1 (Service Pack) the option was put back in. If you are having difficulties with the connectivity of your Vista compuer(s) check for the SP1 and install it if the SP1 hasn't been done yet, then turn on the netBIOS option in the network adapter properties.

Servers - Configuring WINS parts of this page was extracted from Build a Server Guide

One thing I have found over the years as newer versions of Windows Server and workstation are released by MS is that WINS is beginning to play a lesser role in Active Directory, it is still a very valuable service for Windows Server controlled domains but I believe MS is beginning to move away from the netBIOS protocol and more towards IP v.6 which is unfortunate because who needs 10x200 (Billions) of IP addresses on a small business network?

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