Making routing work with Windows NT

Connecting a Windows NT network that uses TCP/IP to a router can cause problems. This solution uses UDP Port 137 support.

When you try to connect a Windows NT network that uses the TCP/IP protocol to a router, you run into problems. NetBIOS name resolution doesn't understand routers. The browse service doesn't work, because the browser relies on broadcast messages that won't pass through a router.

There are several solutions to the problem, but one of the easiest is to use UDP Port 137 support.

Usually, routers filter out frames sent to broadcast addresses. But they can forward all messages sent directly to the UDP Port 137, which is used only by NetBT, a standard feature of Windows NT. With NetBT broadcasts, the browser looks as if it's on one big network segment.

Check your router's manual to see how you can enable NetBT through the UDP Port 137. Some manuals call the method "relay" or "agent," and others refer to "helper addresses."

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Courtesy "Connectivity News," a monthly publication of Black Box Network Services in Lawrence, PA.

http://www.blackbox.com

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This was first published in July 2000

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