When a client needs to contact another host on the network, it first contacts the WINS server to resolve the query using mapping information from the database of the server. The relational database engine of the WINS server accesses an indexed sequential access method (ISAM) database. The ISAM database is a replicated database that contains NetBIOS computer names and IP address mappings.
For a WINS client to log on to the network, it must register its computer name and IP address with the WINS server. This creates a single mapped entry in the WINS database for the client. Because these entries are updated each time a WINS-enabled client logs on to the network, information stored in the WINS server database remains accurate.