Computer Browser

The Computer Browser (Browser) service maintains an up-to-date list of computers on your network, and it supplies the list to programs that request it. The Computer Browser service is used by Windows-based computers that must view network domains and resources. Computers that are designated as browsers maintain browse lists, which contain all shared resources that are used on the network.

There are several roles that a computer might perform in a browsing environment. Under some conditions, such as failure or shutdown of a computer that is designated for a specific browser role, browsers or potential browsers may change to a different operational role.

On Windows 7-based computers, the Computer Browser service is installed by default and its startup type is Manual. On computers running Windows Server 2008 R2, it is disabled. When the Computer Browser service is started in its default configuration, it logs on by using the Local System account. If it stops, the browser list is not updated or maintained.

The Computer Browser service is dependent upon the following system components:

  • Server
  • Security Accounts Manager
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • DCOM Server Process Launcher
  • RPC Endpoint Mapper
  • Server SMB Driver
  • Server SMB Driver
  • srvnet
  • Workstation
  • Browser Support Driver
  • Network Store Interface Service
  • NSI proxy service driver
  • SMB 1.x MiniRedirector
  • SMB 2.0 MiniRedirector
  • SMB MiniRedirector Wrapper and Engine
  • Redirected Buffering Sub System
  • Mup

The following table identifies the application protocol, network protocols, and ports used by the Computer Browser service:

Application protocol Network protocol Ports
NetBIOS Datagram Service UDP 138
NetBIOS Name Resolution UDP 137
NetBIOS Session Service TCP 139

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