Server Message Block

SMB is an acronym for server message block.  It is a protocol used for networked nodes (computers or devices) to communicate with each other to provide access to shared resources like directories, files, and printers. SMB works similar to a client-server relationship where there is a request from one node then a response back to the requesting node.  The SMB protocol has been in Windows since Windows 95. Also, Linux and Apple OS X have the ability to connect to computers and devices through SMB. The SMB protocol is usually used on top of the NetBEUI., TCP/IP, or IPX protocol.

At the office, we use the SMB protocol to connect to computer shares where we can exchange files by either putting it in our shared directory for the user to access it or uploading it to the user’s computer that needs it.  It can be very practical when dealing with files too large to email (our email system that we use caps our attachment limit to twenty megabytes and also doesn’t allow executables or batch files).  It is much easier then finding a USB flash memory drive, copying the data onto it, then going over to the person and handing them the drive for the them to copy over what they need.  It works well here because most of our workstations are PCs, but some are Macs and there aren’t any problems connecting to them; just the way to do it is different.  For PCs users, they open up windows explorer and type in backslash, backslash then the computer name (\\computername).  For Macs, select the Go menu and then select Connect to Server then type in smb colon, forward slash, forward slash then the computer name (smb://computername).