"Browsing" depends on having a "Browsmaster", and on the Browsmaster knowing
WHAT is connected.
One way to handle the "knowing WHAT is connected" is to have a WINS server.
Using a HOSTS file or DNS are other ways of handling "knowing WHERE
everything is", but they aren't Browsemasters, and they don't keep track of
WHAT is connected - only WHERE it will be if it is connected -- so they
don't help with "Browsing".
If you have a small isolated Windows network, on of the Workstations will
become "Browsemaster", and it will know WHAT is connected on it's small
network. Nothing will know WHAT is connected on the wide area network.
Your DHCP Server (OpenVPN) can tell each client as it connects who the WINS
server is for your login domain. The client who becomes Browsemaster will
get updates from the WINS server, and will know (after an update interval)
WHAT is connected to your WAN, and those hosts will become visiable when you
Additionally, The WINS server can tell each client who the Browsemaster is
for the login domain, so you only have one Browsemaster. That Browsemaster
will only inherently know about hosts on it's own isolated segment, but it
can find out from WINS about other segments.
Specifying that your Central Hub is browsemaster won't help with Browsing,
because your Central Hub will not see any of the hosts on the isolated
segements. You still need WINS.
Your "DNS Client" and "ARP Cache" on a Windows machine do track WHAT is
connected, but AFAIK, they don't help with "Browsing".
There are alternatives to "Browsing". You may have persistent shares, or "My
Network Places", published printers, or other Windows Explorer virtual
hosts. You can use Simple Network Management Protocol or Scheduled Tasks to
keep track of WHAT is currently connected. "Browsing" was a way of discovery
in "Network Neighbourhood". If you are using Domain Login or "Homegroup"
instead of (Windows 98) Workgroups, perhaps you don't actually need
Do your users really need to know to see a list of which PC's are currently
turned on? If so, WINS and Browsing are two popular ways of making that
From: David M. Besonen [mailto:davidb@...]
Sent: Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:19 PM
To: openvpn-users ml
Cc: Les Mikesell
Subject: Re: [Openvpn-users] [dbes] bridging - efficiency and scaling
On Mon, 21 Feb 2011 13:38:46 -0600
Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@...> wrote:
> You must have a common WINS server configured for the set of machines
> that need to discover each other through windows name services.
i suppose a hosts file would work just as well as a WINS server in allowing
browsing of shared resources?
thank you to everyone who's replied to my questions. it's definitely
helping me to understand.
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