H-Node is a NetBIOS name resolution method used for name registration and resolution.

What is H-Node?

A NetBIOS name resolution method used for name registration and resolution. H-node is one of the types of NetBIOS over TCP/IP nodes defined in Request for Comments (RFC) numbers 1001 and 1002, and is supported by computers running Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000.

H-Node - Address Resolution
H-Node – Address Resolution

How it works

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 to establish communication over a network. H-node is one of four basic methods supported by Windows NT and Windows 2000 for resolving NetBIOS host names (that is, computer names) into IP addresses.

If a computer running Windows NT or Windows 2000 is configured as an H-node machine, it first tries to use a NetBIOS name server to resolve names of other hosts on the network; this is the way a P-node machine functions. A server running Windows NT or Windows 2000 with the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) configured on it is the typical example of a NetBIOS name server.

If name resolution fails this way (for example, if all WINS servers are down), an H-node machine tries to use broadcasts to resolve the names of the hosts; this is the way a B-node machine functions. H-node is thus a combination of P-node and B-node (in that order), which explains the origin of the term “H-node” because here, “H” stands for “hybrid.”

If there is no WINS server on a network, machines running Windows NT or Windows 2000 automatically configure themselves as B-nodes. If there is at least one WINS server on the network, however, the systems default to H-node.


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