A public version of the Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing protocol that has been tuned for use over the Internet. Common Internet File System (CIFS) is a remote file system access protocol that enables groups of users to collaborate and share documents over the Internet or within corporate intranets.
CIFS is an open, cross-platform technology that is based on the native file-sharing protocols of Microsoft Windows platforms. It is supported by other platforms such as UNIX. CIFS is viewed as a possible replacement for both the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and the Network File System (NFS) file system protocols. CIFS supports encrypted passwords and Unicode filenames; it can be used to mount a remote file system as a directory or drive on the local machine. CIFS also includes features not supported by NFS, including write-ahead and native support for locks.