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■    Names must be less than 64 characters (or 47 characters in older versions of NetWare).

■    Names are not case sensitive.

These names are resolved using either Bindery Services or Novell Directory Services. These will be discussed more in Chapter 5, “Major Network Operating Systems.”


NetBEUI is a Network layer protocol designed to provide support for NetBIOS networks. NetBIOS is a protocol that was developed by IBM (and later enhanced by Microsoft and Novell) for use with network-aware operating systems like LAN Manager/LAN Server, Windows 9x, Windows NT, and Windows 2000. It is a very fast and efficient protocol with low overhead. Because it is small and efficient, it works well on small LANs with between 10 and 200 nodes. The two protocols are often referred to together as NetBEUI/NetBIOS.

Naming and Addressing

There is very little network addressing with NetBEUI/NetBIOS. Actually, for NetBEUI, naming and addressing are the same thing. Each station is configured with a unique name (called the NetBIOS name) that is used for all communications. It’s simple and quick. The only item that must be configured on the workstation is the name of the workstation.


Because the NetBEUI/NetBIOS protocol stack does not have route discovery protocols and was never designed to be routable, it can’t be routed. All routers will drop NetBEUI/NetBIOS packets. Some routers, however, are smart enough to try and bridge these packets to all segments when it finds out that the packet is NetBEUI.


Only a few operating systems run NetBEUI/NetBIOS. The operating systems for IBM and Microsoft are the primary supporters of this protocol. Windows 9x, NT, 2000, LAN Manager, and OS/2 support NetBEUI/NetBIOS. These operating systems can therefore communicate using NetBEUI/ NetBIOS. The Macintosh operating system, however, does not support NetBEUI natively.

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