OK, in my last article I talked about the steps to perform to remove NetBIOS from Windows 7, so this time I’ll talk about removing it from Windows 8.
Yes, Microsoft has even left this silly service enabled on it’s latest operating systems in 2014.
So just a refresher, this is why NetBIOS is considered one of those things that you should remove from Windows based computers:
- When used with the default settings your computer comes with, it can be used by bad guys to help gather information about your computer and network.
- It is a rather noisy protocol that is creates a lot of overhead noise on your network, thus taking up more resources and slowing it down.
I also included a screen shot from Nessus a “vulnerability scanner” we use while scanning for possible holes in a Windows 8.1 system:
Since NetBIOS isn’t used on modern networks, that’s why we recommend to turn it off. It is just one less piece of the puzzle that the attacker may utilize to formulate an attack.
Since Windows 8 and 8.1 still comes out of the box with NetBIOS enabled it is recommended you turn it off.
Here are the steps to disable NetBIOS in Windows 8 and 8.1:
2. Change the Control Panel’s “View by:” setting to “Large Icons” so we can be on the same screen.
6. You may have to scroll down, but find the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” setting and click on it:
9. Click on the “WINS” tab:
13 Click “Close“
14. Close out of your network connection window if you only have 1 network card. If you have more than 1 network card repeat steps 5 – 13 as you’ll need to do this for every adapter including your wired and wireless.
Try out your settings and ensure they work before changing anything else. This way you ensure that disabling NetBIOS hasn’t caused any issues. It’s always better to error on the side of caution.
If you find you are having problems after disabling NetBIOS then you can always change the setting back. However, most modern day networks prefer to leave this setting off, and even in IPv6 NetBIOS isn’t an option at all.