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Difference between CIFS vs SMB

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  • Last Updated : 04 Oct, 2021

1. Common Internet File System :

CIFS stands for Common Internet File System. It was invented by Microsoft and later improved by IBM. CIFS is a very safe and authenticated file transfer protocol system for transferring files over a network or server. It is a public platform for requesting file transfers over the network.

Let’s see some important features of CIFS :

  • Authenticated file transfer protocol, In Authenticated mode, the client needs to authenticate with a user id and password before it can gain access to the server
  • At the server level, multiple users can access the data across the network without any problem.
  • This file transfer protocol has a high performance and is easy to use.
  • It allows file editing via the network, which means the user can directly edit their files over the server/network.

2. Server Message Block :

SMB stands for Server Message Block, which is similar to CIFS in that it also transfers files over a network. IBM improved it at first for an improvised version of CIFS. SMB allows a client to modify, read, and write to a file on a LAN server (Local Area Network). SMB was created to allow users to modify files over a local area network and share them with other clients securely and conveniently.

Let’s see some important features of SMB :

  • SMB allows clients to exchange files, browse the network, print documents, and so on over a network.
  • SMB provided a mechanism for authenticated intercommunication, so that client can communicate with full privacy.
  • SMB2 is a improved version of SMB1, and it also provides functionality for symbolic links.
  • The amount of instructions and subcommands needed to transmit files across the network has been reduced in SMB version 2.

Difference Between CIFS vs SMB :



When CIFS was created, there were lot of issues with the file transmission over the network like security, slow file transfers, length service requests, and so on.SMB was created to address the performance problems with the CIFS. SMB has expanded the size of file sharing over the server, resulting in a significant rise in computing requirements.
Hundreds of instructions and subcommands were used in the CIFS protocol to move a file across a machine. Users have difficulty keeping these commands up to date.SMB has reduced the number of instructions to nineteen. As a result, SMB is simple and practical for users to use.
Because CIFS did not perform any authentication checks during the file transfer, the file was not protected on the system. Any user on the system has access to the file. Highly sensitive files were not properly protected, and the file’s transparency was deteriorating.They have included a pre-authentication check in the current version of SMB, where the user must provide his or her login and password to access the specific file.
CIFS was considered as a chatty protocol with several bugs and network problems.SMB is able to overcome it by using pipelining method.
CIFS is commonly used in big organizations where a large number of employees must collaborate on significant amounts of data.SMB is a network protocol for high-level applications, This facilitates the storage of huge file data and the easy traversal of large files across a network.
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