NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT, or sometimes NetBT) is a networking protocol that allows legacy computer applications relying on the NetBIOS API to be used on modern TCP/IP networks.
NetBIOS was developed in the early 1980s, targeting very small networks (about a dozen computers). Some applications still use NetBIOS, and do not scale well in today’s networks of hundreds of computers when NetBIOS is run over NBF. When properly configured, NBT allows those applications to be run on large TCP/IP networks (including the whole Internet, although that is likely to be subject to security problems) without change.
NBT is defined by the RFC 1001 and RFC 1002 standard documents.
NetBIOS provides three distinct services. NBT implements all of those services:
- Name service for name registration and resolution (ports: 137/udp and 137/tcp)
- Datagram distribution service for connectionless communication (port: 138/udp)
- Session service for connection-oriented communication (port: 139/tcp)