In the world of networking, using host names instead of IP addresses can simplify your life significantly. This article will guide you through the process of using host names on your home network, covering three primary methods: using the .local domain, editing the hosts file, and configuring your router.
Using host names on your home network can simplify network navigation and device identification. There are three primary methods to achieve this: using the .local domain, editing the hosts file, and configuring your router. Each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable depending on your specific needs and the capabilities of your devices.
What are Host Names?
A host name is a label assigned to a device connected to a network. It is used to identify the device in various forms of electronic communication such as the World Wide Web, email or Usenet. Host names are human-friendly, easy-to-remember alternatives to IP addresses.
Using .local Domain
The .local domain is a special top-level domain that is not delegated in the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet but is automatically resolved by most modern operating systems. It allows you to refer to machines on your network by appending .local to the host name.
For example, if the host name of a machine is “machinename”, you can use the command
ssh machinename.local to connect to it. This command initiates an SSH (Secure Shell) connection to the specified host name.
This method is beneficial when your router assigns dynamic IP addresses, as it allows devices on the same network to discover each other using host names. However, it’s worth noting that this method may not work consistently across all devices and operating systems. Some devices, like Android, may have limitations in resolving .local hostnames.
Editing the Hosts File
Another method to use host names on your home network is by editing the
/etc/hosts file on your system. This file allows you to manually map host names to IP addresses.
To add entries, you need to use a text editor with sudo or gksu privileges. The entries should be in the following format:
<IP address> <hostname>
192.168.1.100 ComputerName1 192.168.1.101 ComputerName2
This method ensures that your system will always resolve the specified host names to the correct IP addresses. However, it requires manually updating the hosts file on each system.
Some routers allow you to define host names for devices connected to your network. By configuring your router to assign host names to devices, you can ensure that all machines on your local network know these names.
The process may vary depending on your router model and firmware. Consult your router’s documentation or interface to find the appropriate settings.
Using host names on your home network can simplify network navigation and device identification. Whether you choose to use the .local domain, edit the hosts file, or configure your router, each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable depending on your specific needs and the capabilities of your devices.
Remember to always be cautious when making changes to system files or router configurations. Mistakes can lead to network issues or security vulnerabilities. Always double-check your changes and make sure you understand what each setting or command does.
By understanding and applying these methods, you can make your home network more user-friendly and efficient. Happy networking!
Using host names on a home network simplifies network navigation and device identification. It allows you to refer to devices by human-friendly names instead of IP addresses.
The .local domain is a special top-level domain that is automatically resolved by most modern operating systems. By appending .local to a host name, you can access machines on your network. However, it may not work consistently across all devices and operating systems.
To edit the hosts file, you need to use a text editor with sudo or gksu privileges. The file is located at
/etc/hosts. Simply add entries in the format
<IP address> <hostname> to map host names to IP addresses.
Configuring the router to assign host names ensures that all devices on your network know these names. It simplifies device identification and allows for easier communication between devices.
Yes, you can use all three methods simultaneously. However, it’s important to note that some devices or operating systems may have limitations in resolving .local hostnames, so it’s a good idea to test compatibility and choose the method that works best for your specific needs.