WINS Service

Find information and the benefits of using the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS).

What is WINS?

  • WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) resolves NetBIOS computer names to IP addresses for WINS clients on a routed network.
  • WINS consists of two components: the WINS server, which handles name queries and registrations, and the client software (NetBIOS over TCP/IP), which queries for computer name resolution.
  • WINS also aids Master Browser computers in constructing browse lists for Domains that span multiple subnets.
  • A WINS server is a Windows server computer with WINS server software installed. When the Microsoft TCP/IP protocol is installed, Windows WINS client software is installed automatically.

What are the Benefits of using WINS?

  • WINS provides a distributed database for registering and querying dynamic computer name-to-IP address mappings in a routed network environment. Centralized management of the computer name database and the database replication policies, alleviate the need for managing LMHOSTS files.
  • WINS provides the ability for clients on a Windows network to browse domains that span multiple subnets (or routers).
  • WINS reduces the use of local broadcasts for name resolution and allows users to locate computers on remote networks automatically. Reducing local broadcasts reduces subnet congestion.
  • When dynamic addressing through DHCP results in new IP addresses for computers that move between subnetworks, the changes are updated automatically in the WINS database. Neither the user nor the network administrator needs to make manual accommodations for name resolution in such a case.
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