Understand Computer Name Resolution

Practice Labs Module
45 minutes

The Understand Computer Name Resolution module provides you with the instruction and computer hardware to develop your hands on skills in the defined topics. This module includes the following exercises: Working with Host Names, Working with the HOSTS File, Working with NetBIOS names.

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The Understand Computer Name Resolution module provides you with the instruction and computer hardware to develop your hands on skills in the defined topics. This module includes the following exercises:

  • Working with Host Names
  • Working with the HOSTS File
  • Working with NetBIOS names

Exam Objectives

The following exam objectives are covered in this lab:

  • 220-901: 2.4 Explain common TCP and UDP ports, protocols, and their purpose (Protocols, DNS)
  • 220-902: 1.6 Given a scenario, install and configure Windows networking on a client/desktop (Configuring an alternative IP address in Windows, DNS)

Lab time: It will take approximately 1 hour to complete this lab.

Exercise 1 - Working with Host Names

Computers in a TCP/IP network aside from having a numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address must be given a unique host name. As the number of computers increase in a corporate network, system administrators must install name resolution services that will translate a host name to its numeric IP address or vice-versa. With name resolution services in place, computers will be able to find other servers then connect to their services and ensure network connectivity.

Domain Name System (DNS) which is commonly associated with the Internet is a name resolution service that can help users find other computers in a corporate network. Another example is Windows Internet Name (WINS) which is a legacy name resolution service used on earlier Windows computers.

In this exercise, you will explore different ways of addressing machines by a friendly name rather than an IP address. You will discover what your host name is and attempt to ping your own device and a remote device by host name.

Exercise 2 - Working with HOSTS File

Before Domain Name System (DNS) servers became the standard for resolving host names in today’s Internet, TCP/IP networks used a static text file called HOSTS. The HOSTS file contain information about the IP address that map to host names or FQDN - fully qualified domain name (hostname and domain name) in the company’s computer network. The HOSTS file is found on each Windows computer and must be manually updated if new computers are added in the network.

In this exercise you will edit a HOSTS file by adding a host record into it, and test that it works.

Exercise 3 - Working with NetBIOS Names

NetBIOS, short for Network Basic Input/Output System, is a software interface that supports communication among computers connected on LAN. NetBIOS by itself is not a network protocol and it does not support communication over wide-area networks or WANs. NetBIOS normally rides on top of TCP/IP protocol (sometimes known as NetBT) when implemented on applications/computers connected to a WAN. Port #139 is reserved for NetBIOS protocol.

Legacy Windows operating systems like Windows 9.x and Windows NT use NetBIOS to connect to other Windows devices in departmental-sized networks. Machines running the old Windows OS are named using NetBIOS names and by default are not used with Domain Name System to come up with a fully qualified domain name like plabwin95.company.com. NetBIOS names are just simply computer names without the domain name. A major drawback of NetBIOS is that it is broadcast-based, which means that the computer will announce to the entire network its computer name so that it can be detected by other computers that use NetBIOS.

Newer Windows OS like Windows 8.x support NetBIOS for backward-compatibility with computers or applications that use NetBIOS. However, these new Windows OS use hostnames and would prefer to use Domain Name System to resolve hostnames or computer names to IP address or vice-versa.

LMHOSTS was used by earlier Windows devices to map the numeric IP address of a computer to its NetBIOS name. This file is saved on each computer to help it find other computers using their NetBIOS names.

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