Well, I guessed that if you only heard it from me, you would rightfully put it to anecdotal evidence or hearsay. So I added links to the finding of Fred Langa (a person with much more credibility than I have) and a link to a technet post, assuming those were credible enough.
Now I have several Linux and Windows machines networked. Netbios is enabled on some Windows machines, not on others. I also use a router PC with the pfSense 2.2.4 software including its DNS server. The machines that do not use NetBios are much faster retrieving content from network accessible folders than the other ones.
I prefer to disable NetBios (over TCP/IP), mainly because it is a really old standard that has proven to be vulnerable. Besides, even if it is enabled, that standard has become more and more irrelevant
since Windows 2000 and up. A more recent TechNet article
states the same.
But yes, NetBios (over TCP/IP) works differently than DNS. And from the articles above you'll see that the standard is hardly, if at all, used for network communication since Windows 2000, even if you do have it enabled.
About the other part:
More often than not, 'Less is more'. Software and services/protocols that are not needed, you best get rid of to prevent Windows taking unnecessary actions. By 'getting rid of' I mean disable, not remove as there might be a future task for which you might need it again.
But you will notice an increase in computing power when reducing in this way.Differences
between Workgroups and Homegroups:
- In workgroup all computers have equal rights.
- Workgroup cannot be password protected.
- Workgroup has a limit of twenty computers.
- In workgroup all computers must be on same local network.
- Workgroup works on all windows version.
- Workgroup works on both IP versions: IPv4 and IPv6.
- In workgroup every computer requires same workgroup name.
- Workgroup needs technical knowledge to setup.
- Workgroup requires security and sharing permissions to be set.
- To use a workgroup computer you need to have a user account on that computer.
- Homegroup does not have a limit of computers.
- You can join as much computers as you want.
- Homegroup can be password protected.
- Homegroup is easy to setup. All sharing options are enabled automatically.
- Homegroup requires IPv6 to work.
- Homegroup can be span over the subnet.
- Homegroup requires window7 or higher version.
When you add layer over layer over layer to make things "easier" on the front-end you will actually accomplish the opposite on the back-end. Or worse, settings are adjusted in your network, because Microsoft deemed their choices to be safer than yours. While you cannot blame Microsoft to err on the side of caution, the net result is that you'll end up with a network that is slower than it is supposed to be. That was what the article from Fred Langa was about. If memory serves me, he also did transfer tests between different versions of Windows with and without Homegroup. Homegroup was the slower option, all the time. Unfortunately, his article disappeared behind a paywall.
Personally, I would not be surprised if the Homegroup requirement of IPv6 could be the cause for slowdowns in an IPv4-only network. The NIC in the computer could wait a millisecond or so, because of the incomplete/wrong IPv6 configuration before reverting back to the working IPv4 configuration, each time a TCP/IP packet needs to be ACKnowledged. This adds up when transferring (big) files. I would also have no problems imagining that the 'spanning over a subnet' introduces extra overhead in some network drivers.
As most people only have access to IPv4-only networks, which I don't see changing any time soon, the unnecessary Homegroup slowdown will remain a problem.
Now I can imagine that you don't want all that headache disabling software this and service that to have the most optimal amount of computing resources for the computing task you are going to execute. Most people don't care enough about this and usually do other things on the computer during the executing of this sub-optimal task. All part of their workflow and there is nothing wrong with this.
Taking a look at the differences between Workgroup and Homegroup anyone should notice that Workgroup is relatively simple in setup when compared to Homegroup. With all the Homegroup related problems reported in the Microsoft Technet forms and Windows 7
forums, it's background complexities create a lot of trouble. Much more than the simpler Workgroup system does. So, if you do know about how to handle/work with Workgroup, there is no reason at all to use Homegroup.