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Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS)

NetBIOS is an API providing various networking services.

However, the formerly used Ethernet based networking protocol (often called NetBEUI or NBF for NetBEUI Framing) is/was often called NetBIOS too, leading to a lot of confusion.

NetBIOS traffic can be transported (encapsulated) over several different networking protocols:

... you might see a lot of these variants in the wild.

NetBIOS provides several services:

NetBIOS Name Service

NetBIOS Datagram Service

NetBIOS Session Service


The protocols in the NetBIOS over TCP/IP suite implements the NetBIOS services atop TCP and UDP, which is described in RFC 1001 and RFC 1002.

NetBIOS over TCP/IP (also called NBT) seems to slowly supersede all the other NetBIOS variants.

NBT provides three services:


XXX - add a brief description of NetBIOS history


See the various NetBIOS protocols for Wireshark specifics and examples.


NetBIOS (last edited 2012-11-21 22:25:15 by GuyHarris)