What is the NetBIOS name?

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
Under System Preferences < Network < Advanced < WINS there's something called NetBIOS name. Mine is NEW-HOST. I was wondering what this was and what it does. My computer, host, and localhost names are all different.
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
The NetBios name is usually the DNS name. For example in my Forescout Server the NetBios is always the DNS name for the computer.
 

calderone

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2009
3,679
86
Seattle
is it possible I don't have a DNS name?
Yes and no.

You do have a "DNS" name with the .local prefix. But this isn't really DNS, it is something handled by Bonjour (mDNSResponder) to allow Mac's (and PC's) to communicate with one another via name instead of IP Address.

Your machine however does not have a DNS name in the typical sense, meaning you query a DNS server with a name and it returns your IP address.
 

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
Yes and no.

You do have a "DNS" name with the .local prefix. But this isn't really DNS, it is something handled by Bonjour (mDNSResponder) to allow Mac's (and PC's) to communicate with one another via name instead of IP Address.

Your machine however does not have a DNS name in the typical sense, meaning you query a DNS server with a name and it returns your IP address.
Ok. And yeah I have seen my .local name before. It's under Sharking. I'm assuming that would be my LocalHostName. And my hostname is whatever I set terminal to say at the beginning. And my ComputerName is right above my LocalHostName under Sharing. So I still am not completely sure where my NetBIOS name comes into play.
 

mrichmon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
873
2
Under System Preferences < Network < Advanced < WINS there's something called NetBIOS name. Mine is NEW-HOST. I was wondering what this was and what it does. My computer, host, and localhost names are all different.
NetBIOS is an old network services standard. Historically, NetBIOS ran as various different packet formats over the LAN technology of the day.

Modern NetBIOS deployments encapsulate NetBIOS over TCP/IP.

If you do not run NetBIOS services on your network you can usually ignore the NetBIOS settings. The main reason why you might want to set the NetBIOS name is if you are doing printer sharing to Windows clients.

A rough overview of NetBIOS can be found on Wikipedia.