B Node

B Node is a NetBIOS name resolution method supported by Microsoft Windows Server. It is one of four basic methods supported by Windows for resolving NetBIOS host names that is, computer names into IP addresses. Read full article for detailed explanation.

What is B-node?

A NetBIOS name resolution method in which broadcast messages are used for name registration and resolution. B-node is one of the NetBIOS name resolutions supported by Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000.

How It Works: B-Node

Name resolution is the process of converting the name of a host on the network into a network address (such as an IP address). Name resolution must be performed in order to establish communication over a network in Windows. B-node is one of four basic methods supported by Windows for resolving NetBIOS host names—that is, computer names—into IP addresses.

If a computer running Windows is configured as a B-node machine, it always uses broadcasts to resolve names of other hosts on the network. For example, if a B-node machine wants to communicate with another machine with the NetBIOS name SERVER7 (for example, if it wants to connect to a shared resource on SERVER7), the B-node machine broadcasts a packet containing a NetBIOS name query request. If SERVER7 receives the packet, it responds by returning a frame containing its IP address. If SERVER7 is off line or fails to return a response, the B-node client will be unable to establish a connection with SERVER7.

As a name resolution method, B-node is flawed in two ways:

  • Since broadcast packets are used, B-node consumes network bandwidth and can degrade overall network communication in a busy network.
  • Since routers are usually configured to not forward broadcast packets, B-node clients can resolve only the NetBIOS names of hosts on the client’s local subnet.

A better approach to NetBIOS name resolution on Windows networks is to configure clients as H-node machines and use a WINS server. H-node is a NetBIOS name resolution method that combines B-node and P-node.