Network Browsing, or Not

  1. JackHughs's Avatar
    Posts : 166
    Windows 10 Pro 1909
       #1

    Network Browsing, or Not


    In another thread, Mr. Ed observed that the Windows network browsing service is intentionally disabled in Windows 10.

    Windows network browsing (My Network Places, Network Neighborhood) is wholly dependent on SMBv1. SMBv1 is not enabled in Windows 10 and therefore Windows network browsing is also disabled. Accordingly, there is no "Master Browser."

    However, if one has to discover SMBv1 devices (such as XP computers), one can enable SMBv1 in Windows 10. Doing so will wake-up Windows network browsing and the network will again have a Master Browser, for better or for worse.

    Windows replacement for Windows network browsing is WS-Discovery which is enabled by starting the "Function Discovery Provider Host" and "Function Discovery Resource Publication" services, and setting them to Automatic (Delayed Start). Apparently these two services are properly set when one enables file and print sharing.

    Do I have this right?

    JackHughs
      My Computer

  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,728
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #2

    JackHughs said:
    Windows network browsing (My Network Places, Network Neighborhood) is wholly dependent on SMBv1
    Jack,

    No. My SMB1 components remain disabled and I can browse my network of entirely Windows 10 computers. That about exhausts my knowledge of the subject.

    I understand, from various TenForums threads, that SMB1 is essential for browsing networks containing other OSs {as you also mentioned} and for using most network storage {since most routers have never been written to use later SMB versions even if a router is a very new design}.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 15 Apr 2020 at 13:08.
      My Computer

  3. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,294
    Win10 Pro
       #3

    Try3 said:
    Jack,

    No. My SMB1 components remain disabled and I can browse my network of entirely Windows 10 computers. That about exhausts my knowledge of the subject.

    I understand, from various TenForums threads, that SMB1 is essential for browsing networks containing other OSs {as you also mentioend} and for using most network storage {since most routers have never been written to use later SMB versions even if a router is a very new design}.

    Denis
    You are correct. Additionally, many printers and scanners require SMB1 to function as well. Businesses have some very expensive equipment that needs it also.
      My Computers

  4. JackHughs's Avatar
    Posts : 166
    Windows 10 Pro 1909
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Let me see if I can clarify my initial comments.

    "Network Browsing" and "Network Discovery" are not the same thing.

    Network Discovery is the process of finding other machines on a Windows network.

    "Network Browsing" is using the legacy (My Network Places, Network Neighborhood) Windows Network Browser to accomplish Network Discovery.

    In Windows 10, Network Discovery is handled "WS-Discovery" which is enabled by starting the "Function Discovery Provider Host" and "Function Discovery Resource Publication" services. Strictly speaking, WS-Discovery does not "browse" the network but the effect is the same - WS-Discovery finds other Windows 10 machines and reports them in File Explorer.

    The rub is that WS-Discovery will not discover any device (such as XP machines, network printers, or NAS) that uses SMBv1. In order to discover those devices, you need to wake-up the legacy Windows Network Browser by enabling SMBv1 on the Windows 10 machines.

    So if a network is made up of only Windows 10 machines and no one inadvertently enables SMBv1 on any of those machines, all discovery is handled by WS-Discovery and all machines should be able to see and communicate with each other without issue.

    But, if SMBv1 is enabled for any reason, the legacy Windows Network Browser comes back to life and we have to endure its issues, such as those caused by the election and maintenance of the "Master Browser."

    JackHughs
      My Computer


 

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