In computer networking, Server Message Block (SMB), one version of which was also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS), operates as an application-layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network. It also provides an authenticated inter-process communication mechanism. Most usage of SMB involves computers running Microsoft Windows, where it was known as “Microsoft Windows Network” before the introduction of Active Directory. Corresponding Windows services are LAN Manager Server (for the server component) and LAN Manager Workstation (for the client component).
Although its main purpose is file sharing, additional SMB Protocol provides other functionality such as Network browsing and Printing over a network.