Server Message Block (SMB)

A near-universal language for file transfers across local and virtual networks.

Modern area networks are often mixed environments connecting an array of devices. Both homes and offices rely on networks that connect personal computers, servers, mobile devices, and peripherals such as printers and scanners.

The variety of networked devices promises to increase dramatically as new types of connected devices emerge. Already, many home routers, televisions, security cameras, and other devices depend on the ability to share files across a network. Many new device types are likely to follow.
SMB is a network file sharing protocol that meets the need for secure, stable, high-performance file sharing. It provides a ‘common language’ for local area networks, enabling seamless file transfer regardless of operating system or device.

SMB is just one technology Microsoft licenses to fuel innovation in a range of fields. SMB helps connect the devices of shaping the Internet of Things to local networks, and has applications in some mobile devices and tablets, and is integral Microsoft’s wider array of server and business solutions.

How SMB Works

SMB is a client-server system. It provides a protocol for exchanging data packets between the client device and the server. Data packets may control sessions with the server, allow users to remotely access and edit files and directories stored on the server, and perform functions such as printing documents or authenticating users.

SMB is critical to ensuring that enterprise-level servers are secure and interoperable with the networks they serve. Other applications of SMB include peripherals such as printers and scanners, security cameras, televisions, and some mobile devices.

Traditionally used in local area networks, SMB can also be used to transmit data over virtual private networks and to cloud-based solutions. SMB is implemented in Microsoft Windows as Microsoft SMB Protocol.

SMB Features

Extremely secure
Data transferred through SMB is protected from interception or alteration by strong encryption.

Reliable file transfer
Built-in redundancy ensures the accuracy and reliability of file transfers.

Superb interoperability
SMB enables seamless file transfer between Windows and non-Windows-based operating systems, as well as a wide variety of device types.

Ubiquitous in mixed environments
Because SMB is interoperable and secure, it is almost universal in environments where multiple device types and operating systems interact.

High efficiency
SMB does not require high bandwidth and generates low network noise.

SMB Implementation

While a patent license is required to implement SMB, Microsoft publishes documentation about the SMB protocol, including detailed implementation instructions, on the Microsoft Developers Network.

Our SMB Licensees

Microsoft licenses SMB to most of the largest server and NAS original equipment manufacturers, including the makers of enterprise-level storage solutions and a wide variety of other devices.

Learn More About SMB

Contact us to learn more about the SMB solution, or the SMB licensing program.