In windows if you go to Computer->Properties->Advanced System Settings->Computer Name, you can change the computer name, let's say from MYCOMPUTER to LEDZEPPELIN.

  • This changes the (1) computer name to LEDZEPPELIN.
  • It also changes the (2) hostname to LEDZEPPELIN when I pop into the url.
  • This also allows me to run the (3) NETBIOS lookup from a different computer connected to the same router that runs linux. I'll pass LEDZEPPELIN as the NETBIOS name.

and it returns the ip address. I'm confused, are all three similar?

If you could provide a helpful analogy to aid in my understanding (like this: Difference between host name and domain name) that would be totally awesome

2 Answers 2


A domain is something you will experience on a work network rather than a home environment generally speaking.

computer name john
netbios name is usually also john (but has stricter naming restrictions)

on a domain your full computer name may be john.company.local for example

the company.local bit being the name of the domain itself.

netbios is old way of resolving names and in many ways is not used, however is kept there in the OS for backwards compatibility.

your netbios name and computer name for all intents and purposes is nearly always the same.

out of curiosity, is there a specific piece of this from the article you linked that you don't understand and I can try and further clarify.

  • 1
    Your answer is simple and straightforward. Just in case LZ is up for a little reading here is a little snack itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/… Dec 16, 2011 at 16:21
  • I was mostly confused about what the computer name meant, but you answered that by saying on a domain it would generally include the domain name itself. Since I'm on a home network, the computer name resolves to the host name
    – user784637
    Dec 16, 2011 at 17:31
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    yea the computer name is used in windows networking / applications to give you a friendly name, instead of having to remember I know my pc is called sniper-pc ;) Dec 16, 2011 at 19:19

Windows has a host-name which is provided by user at the time of installation.The same host name is resolved into computer-name by adding two letters "PC". Then the same name is added as Net-BIOS name by adding a new special character ($) at the end of host name. All the 3 names change by changing host-name.

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