wins - Computer Definition
(Windows Internet Naming Service) Name resolution software from Microsoft that ran in Windows servers at the time networks were being converted to IP. Windows workgroup PCs use NetBIOS names, and prior to Windows XP, required this service to convert the names to IP addresses. Windows PCs identified themselves to WINS so other Windows PCs could find their IP addresses. WINS allowed machines in one LAN segment to locate machines in another by name. Hence the word "internet" in WINS referred to multiple company networks, not the global Internet. When a computer was assigned an IP address by DHCP, the WINS database was updated. In a Windows-only network, WINS was queried for name resolution. In a mixed environment, a Unix machine queried the DNS server, which, starting in Windows 2000, was updated by WINS. See DNS and DHCP.