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what is WINS?

5466 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  johnwill
Hey everybody,

I was looking at some things on installing a new server and I seen that they have to assign a WINS address. Now what is WINS? I have googled it and looked it up but it still a little foggy for me. The explanation that I have mostly been getting has been;

"Short for Windows Internet Naming Service, a system that determines the IP address associated with a particular network computer. This is called name resolution. WINS supports network client and server computers running Windows and can provide name resolution for other computers with special arrangements. Determining the IP address for a computer is a complex process when DHCP servers assign IP addresses dynamically. For example, it is possible for DHCP to assign a different IP address to a client each time the machine logs on to the network. WINS uses a distributed database that is automatically updated with the names of computers currently available and the IP address assigned to each one."

I know its all there in the definition but I don't get the difference between DHCP and WINS. DHCP can assign IP addresses that are different as people keep logging into the network, what about WINS? Does it assign a specific one like DNS? Or does... I'm not sure what does it do? DHCP and WINS the same? I need some help on this. Thank you all!
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WINS is the thing that was used in the NT4/W9x days for name resolution. It's the thing that DNS has replaced in modern Windows versions. WINS is still used in many networks. Here's a page on Microsoft Technet on WINS:
Ok, so if DNS replaced WINS then WINS never really established a permanent IP like what DNS does?
WINS or DNS don't establish a "permanent" IP, they just allow you to use a name that is mapped to an IP address. If you happen to know the IP address, you don't need either of them. Of course, the world would be a lot more complicated. :smile:
Long story short, WINS and DNS makes things more user friendly. As John said, it allows you to associate a human-readable name with an IP address. If you have difficulty remembering phone numbers, imagine trying to remember IP addresses for umpteen number of machines.
alright, so you may use an IP address in the table given, say it was, it could be*??
No, IP addresses are unique, there is no "wildcard" for addressing.
Alright, I think I got it. Sorry for the dumb question, but you really helped me out. Thanks again
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