Do You Still Need a WINS Server?


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The Wins server has become a staple in gaming. The idea is to centralize information about all game states for everyone, allowing players to compete and interact with the same data. A recent review of how the Wins Server works found that it actually creates more issues than solutions for games across many genres

A “wins server” is a computer that is connected to the internet and is used for file sharing. This was once necessary, but with cloud computing, it isn’t needed anymore.

Do You Still Need a WINS Server?

A WINS server, which was formerly a required for almost every network, was once a standard. Is it, however, still required today?

In this post, you’ll learn a little about WINS and what it’s used for, so you can decide whether you still need that old WINS server on your network.

Understanding WINS is the same as understanding NetBIOS.

Computers interact using protocols such as TCP/IP, which use IP addresses as number schemes. A mechanism to “label” such IP addresses with names was developed to avoid having to recall all of those numbers. Each machine on a network might be given a name, making management much simpler.

The Network Basic Input/Output System, or NetBIOS, was one of the early methods of mapping names to IP addresses. NetBIOS, or NetBIOS over TCP/IP, or NetBT, is a service that runs on the TCP/IP protocol that works at the session layer of the OSI model to simplify device-to-device identification and communication on a network.

NetBT used to resolve names across a network by issuing TCP/IP broadcast query messages. The most notable feature of NetBIOS is that it is not routable. Over many networks, NetBIOS name resolution is not possible. To address this, Microsoft created the NetBIOS Naming Service, or WINS as it is often known, which resolves names across routed networks.


NetBIOS had a serious flaw: it couldn’t connect to other networks. Companies began to need several networks to partition traffic, and NetBIOS couldn’t be routed between them. What should I do? Windows Internet Naming Service is a new protocol (WINS).

Because WINS depended on the TCP/IP protocol, administrators could now route name traffic across networks. WINS provided administrators with a single location where all machines could register their identities and IP addresses.

WINS Servers (and Clients) in Action

WINS is a client-server system that consists of two main components: a WINS client that runs on a Windows machine and a WINS server that hosts a database containing different entries that indicate hostname to IP address mappings.

Registration and Resolution of Clients

Clients engage with a WINS server in three ways when it is made accessible on a network for them to use: assignment, registration, and name resolution.

Client responsibilities

A Windows PC must first choose which WINS server it will interact with in order to join the WINS name resolving process. To do this, a WINS server is allocated to the Windows machine (WINS client) either manually or through DHCP.

When a client is directed to a WINS server, it tries to register with the server, resulting in the creation of a hostname to IP address mapping in the WINS database.

Registration of Clients

When a WIN client first connects to the internet, it will send out a request to verify that it has a unique hostname. To prevent name duplication, this step is required. The client will then register itself in the WINS database if no other name is located on the network.

Resolution of the Client’s Name

After a period of time has passed since all WINS clients have gotten the WINS server to point to and have registered, all clients may resolve all other client names via name resolution, even across different networks. They do this by using NetBIOS name queries to query the WINS server, and answering to the requests with the right IP addresses of the specified computers.

  • In a process called as tombstoning, clients who have been removed from the network will ultimately be freed from the WINS database.

Replication of Servers

The WINS ecosystem isn’t limited to a single WINS server and a large number of clients. Many networks still have many WINS servers that use replication partners to duplicate database records to other WINS servers.

A WINS replication partner may be set in either a push or a pull mode. Pull replication partners ask Push replication partners for updated database records. These queries are made every 15 minutes or when a Push partner sends an update notice.

In a large network, all WINS servers should be configured as both pull and push partners to ensure that all WINS servers in the network have up-to-date database entries.

WINS’ Limitations

Although WINS formerly assisted businesses in transitioning from non-routable NetBIOS name resolution to a routable and scalable solution, it is currently considered obsolete and old. Why? Specifically, DNS.

Resolve-DnsName: Using PowerShell to Resolve DNS Records

WINS utilized a flat namespace, which meant that a name could only be used once per network. It didn’t perform well on huge networks, which is a disadvantage.

Furthermore, although WINS includes replication options for redundancy, this might result in a system that is too complicated and difficult to fix.


Windows clients used to identify network devices by their NetBIOS identities, necessitating the use of WINS. However, beginning with Windows 2000, WINS is no longer necessary on newer PCs.

Some enterprises that use outdated software for client/server mail settings, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) or Microsoft BackOffice Server, may still need WINS.

WINS is currently an out-of-date technology that Microsoft has retired in favor of alternative protocols such as DNS, which is better suited for name resolving in Windows Server 2000 and later settings.

However, you may need it if you need to support Windows NT servers and workstation applications.

The “wins server windows 10” is a question that has been asked for a while. Microsoft has released Windows 10, which means you don’t need to run a WINS Server anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a WINS server?

What replaced WINS?

A: WINS is no longer available. It has been replaced by GPCR, or Game Pass Code Regulation.

Is NetBIOS obsolete?

A: NetBIOS is a networking protocol for the purpose of file sharing over TCP/IP. It has been replaced by Samba, which is an improved and more secure version of bNetBios.

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