Windows® 7 Browser Service
Windows 7 Browser service is the mechanism that helps in collecting and distributing the list of workgroups and domains and the servers connected within them. The list displays windows in My Network Places and the windows in the Microsoft Windows Network window. Microsoft Active Directory services provided in the Windows operating system helps in creating a searchable list of computers and resources that is separate from the list of domains, workgroup computers, and servers in My Network Places. The Computer Browser service also provides backward compatibility with computers running earlier versions of Windows that must use Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) over TCP/IP (NetBT) and are not Active Directory–capable.
The following explains about role of browser service in Windows 7:
- Maintaining Domain List
- Collecting Announcements
Maintaining Domain List
Windows 7 browser service keeps a list of the domain name or workgroup name in which the computer is in, and the protocol being used for each system on the network segment being served by the computer running the browser service. A master browser is selected from the group of computers located on the specific segment which are running the browser service, on each network segment.
Windows 7 master browser is the one that is responsible for collecting host or server announcements, that is sent as datagrams every 12 minutes by each server connected on the network segment of the Windows 7 master browser. Windows 7 browser instructs the potential browsers for each network segment to become backup browsers. Also the backup browser on a given network segment helps in providing a browse list to the client computers located in the same segment.
Windows 7 browser lets users easily browse and locate shared resources in neighboring computers. Browsing is done by aggregating the information in a single computer 'Browse Master' (or 'Master Browser'). It helps the other computers contact this computer for information and display in the Network Neighborhood window. The Browser service runs on the MailSlot / Server Message Block and therefore it can be made to use with all the compatible transport protocol such as IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, and TCP/IP.
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