Network Provider API
A network provider is a DLL that enables the Windows operating system to interact with other kinds of networks, such as Novell. It is a client of the Windows WNet driver. A network provider implements network-specific actions, such as making a connection, and exposes a common interface to Windows. This interface is called the Network Provider API and consists of functions implemented by the network provider. You can create a network provider DLL to support new network protocols.
Because each network exposes a common interface through its provider, Windows can interact with several types of networks without knowing their network-specific implementation details.
The Multiple Provider Router (MPR) handles communication with all of the various network providers on the system and presents an integrated network to the user.