Home : Internet Terms : CIFS Definition


Stands for "Common Internet File System." CIFS is a standard file system designed for sharing files over the Internet. It is part of the SMB protocol, which allows multiple types of computers to share data and peripherals over a network. CIFS enables users to access files remotely from multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and others.

Each operating system has its own file system, which defines how files and folders are organized. For example, most Windows computers use NTFS, while Macs user HFS. Proprietary file systems are fine when accessing files locally (from the computer itself), but it can cause compatibility issues when users try to access files from a remote system. If the remote device does not recognize the file system of the computer, it won't be able read the files. CIFS solves this problem by serving as a universal file system that is supported by multiple platforms.

The Common Internet File System provides a standard set of commands that computers can use to access a remote system and read and write files remotely. It supports both anonymous file transfers and authenticated access, which can be used to prevent unauthorized access to certain folders and files. CIFS also includes file locking, which prevents multiple users from editing the same file at the same time.

Updated: December 19, 2012

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