Windows Sockets

Definition of Windows Sockets in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Windows Sockets?

Windows Sockets is also called Winsock, an interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism that provides reliable, connection-oriented two-way communication or unreliable connectionless communication between processes on two computers. Windows Sockets is a Microsoft Windows implementation of the well-known Berkeley Sockets application programming interface (API) for accessing datagram and session services over TCP/IP. It provides guaranteed delivery of data between computers for distributed applications.

Windows Sockets can be used by TCP/IP, NWLink, and AppleTalk network protocols. Windows Sockets applications on Windows operating systems include File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Windows Sockets is implemented as a dynamic-link library (DLL) for Windows operating systems. The current implementation of Windows Sockets on Windows platforms is version 2, which supports multicasting, provides better performance than previous versions, and supports wireless communication.