DNS and WINS
When you hear the commercial asking you to visit somesite.com or yoursite.net (and you actually do so) your request by the more human name gets passed on.
When youre on the Internet, the request is passed to a computer running Domain Name Service (DNS) that looks up the friendly (to humans) name and finds out what the IP number is for that site, and that tells the equipment on the Internet you are looking for that IP number.
Now that is great for the Internet, and doesnt do much for computer that have names in your office, where Microsofts local network naming system rather than DNS is usually in effect. Think of how many computers are out there with names such as Sales, or Accounting. (The exception here is Windows 2000, which will use DNS for your local network as well.)
The humans in the office as compared to computers are as math challenged in the office as they are at home. To solve this issue in the office, Microsoft provides a way to resolve the names of the computers in the office to unique IP numbers with software called Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS).
The successful A+ technician would understand one more part of IP.
The IP number a computer or other device uses, consists of 4 sets of numbers, which must range from 0 to 255 and the 4 sets are separated by periods. Technically, they are called octets. (Refer to the A+ core book for more details).
A second set of numbers that follow the same rules must be part of the IP number; this set is known as the subnet mask.
In effect the subnet mask takes the IP number and splits it into a family name for the network, and a first name for each device on the network. The generic name for each device is known as a HOST.
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