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I have a pfsense firewall in my house, with a PPTP vpn set up for external access. Without a WINS server, name resolution does not work over the VPN. I have another old box I am thinking of installing samba with WINS on to get around this.

My question is.. if for some reason the WINS box falls over, but is specified in the DHCP configuration, will the machines behind the firewall still be able to resolve each others names? They are all on the same subnet.

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The NetBIOS node-type determines this. Hybrid nodes will attempt WINS resolution first, then fall back to broadcast resolution. So machines on the same subnet will still be able to find each other. In the case of Samba, if that Samba is connected to multiple subnets it'll act as a sort of bridge between the two networks as far as name resolution is concerned.

DHCP option 46 is the one that specifies the Node Type.

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There are a number of articles that cover this but this one is an easy read that should clarify things. Just ignore the fact that it's only referring to Win95/98.

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