If you’ve ever opened your PC or laptop’s BIOS, you must have seen a bunch of options there, most of which you wouldn’t exactly be able to figure out in the first go, and that isn’t exactly your fault. Most BIOS’ are riddled with complicated features that are more often than not of no use to regular users.
In this article, we’re talking about one such feature called the Network Stack. Your BIOS should have an option to enable or disable this. We’ll be looking at what this feature is and should you enable or disable this.
What is a BIOS network stack?
Computers have a lot of options when it comes to booting. You can boot from your local hard drive — which is most often the case, but you can also boot from removable media or a designated server from your network.
The Network Stack option allows booting from a designated PXE server on your network. You’ll often find this option named ‘Network Boot’ as well.
PXE or Preboot Execution Environment is a client-server protocol that allows a PXE client to load boot programs from a server. This is especially helpful in corporate environments where employees might be assigned thin clients — computers with no local hard drive.
This lets the user boot their system from the network and access files all from one place. Network admins might also use PXE when doing unattended mass installations across a network.
Should you enable the feature?
If you’re using a home computer, don’t. In fact, unless and until you require this feature, don’t enable it as it leaves you vulnerable from a network security perspective.
If you’re an IT admin setting up machines across a network, you probably already know what you’re doing, in which case, you need the feature to be active.
Also read: What is the Dell BIOS key?