Configure Windows Network browsing

Windows Network browsing

With Windows, browsing computers in the network can be a painful experience (long delays before getting the computer lists, etc.). This especially happens in environments where there is not a server available, like home scenarios.

TomatoUSB can fix this, and act as a server to speedup network browsing. There are two main features that it offers:

  • It can act as Master Browser. This means that it all computers in the LAN will refer to it to know which computers are currently available in the network. Since it is always on, it will keep the list perfectly updated.
  • It can act as WINS Server. This means that when an user sees the computer "FOO" in the network, and double-click on it, its computer will automatically ask the router for the IP address of computer "FOO", instead of playing a slow trial-and-error game.


  • Basic » Network » WINS =
  • USB and NAS » File Sharing » Master Browser = YES
  • USB and NAS » File Sharing » WINS Server = YES
  • USB and NAS » File Sharing » Workgroup Name = WORKGROUP or MSHOME

The workgroup name can be anything, but make sure that all computers in your network are in the same workgroup for the fastest experience. Windows XP/VISTA/7 computers use MSHOME as default workgroup.

See these guides on how to check and change the workgroup of a Windows computer:

How to check if WINS is configured correctly on a client

  • Start a Command Prompt in Windows
  • Run ipconfig /all
  • Check if there is a line such as: WINS Server:
  • If the line is present, WINS is configured correctly
  • If the line is not present, the computer is not aware of any WINS server.

PS: If you just turned on WINS, you need to rejoin your wifi network (or replug your ethernet cable), as the WINS server address is notified to the client computers when they join the LAN through DHCP.

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