When does one require NetBIOS?

  • I've heard others talk of disabling NetBIOS, but over the years I have never understood exactly when this protocol is required. The wikipedia page explains very abstractly what it is, but not which products rely on it. I'd love to disable any services I have no use for.

  • JekwA

    JekwA Correct answer

    7 years ago

    This blog post does a pretty good job at explaining what requires NetBIOS. It includes a few examples of programs that need it as well.

    To summarize, every machine with NetBIOS will broadcast its name, IP, and any services every 60 seconds. If there is a WINS server configured they will register with the WINS server instead and the network will be much quieter, but EVERY machine needs to be configured with WINS, the ones that aren't configured will continue broadcasting every minute.

    NetBIOS is needed to join a domain and there are quite a few legacy apps that were designed around it and therefor need NetBIOS to function properly. Here is a short list taken directly from the above blog post link.

    Exchange 2003 with certain Outlook features
    McAfee Enterprise ePolicy Orchestrator
    Symantec Endpoint Protection
    Symantec Backup Exec
    Computer Associates AV
    Mapped Drives
    Printer sharing (not published in AD)

    Full credit for this information should go to the author of the referenced blog post Ace Fekay

    Thanks for the link! Short answer seems to be too, an all Apple/Linux network not using Samba does not need NetBIOS. Sound true?

    That sounds about right. NetBIOS is more than 99% a windows thing, so if you're not using Windows or Samba I don't see anything keeping you from getting rid of all NetBIOS traffic.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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