Winsock

Winsock. "Isn't that one of those tube-like flags that tell which way the wind is blowing?" Actually, that's a "windsock," which was first used by airline pilots to tell how fast and what direction the wind was blowing.

Winsock is actually short "Windows sockets," which are files that allow Windows programs to connect to the Internet and other computers. Technically, Winsock is an "Application Programming Interface (API)," that developers use to make their programs network-enabled. 16-bit applications use a file called WINSOCK.DLL and 32-bit applications use a file called WSOCK32.DLL. Both of these files are libraries of networking functions (based on TCP/IP), but they can differ from computer to computer, depending on the vendor. If you use Windows, you probably use Winsock on a regular basis. Fortunately, unless you're a Windows programmer, you don't have to understand exactly how it works.

Updated 2006

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Winsock on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Winsock definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.