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I have added two IP addresses in the network config of one of my PCs, and I'm using those IP addresses to host separate sites in IIS:

I can browse those sites from around my network no problem by IP address.

What I'd like to do next is to have names for those sites, so that I'm not having to enter IP addresseses. I know that I can do this by adding to the hosts file, but this seems a little unsubtle.

Question: Can I propogate names for these non-machine based IP addresses by configuring something on the PC hosting the sites?

NOTE - Context:

I have a home network (so no Domain/DC/AD) Variety of machines in XP/Vista/7/OSX/IOS My central router is a Linksys WAG320N if that's any help

If any further background would help, just ask.

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2 Answers 2

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You would need a Domain Name Server. This is a service running on a computer (or a cluster of computers) which resolves names into IP addresses.

Your DNS would also need to resolve Internet names as well, and be available all the time on your network, as it would have to be the main DNS server for your entire network (or any computers you want to access the websites on).

There are a number of different free DNS packages available (Windows Server comes with one already built in). Mara DNS looks pretty promising.

One big benefit of using names instead of IP addresses is you don't need to allocate a separate IP address for each website - they can all run on the same IP address but differentiate using the "Host:" header of the HTTP request (settable in the IIS config for the website).

An alternative would be to purchase your own domain (or sub-domain - they are often cheaper, sometimes even free) and have the DNS hosted on the Internet somewhere.

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Thanks for the info - I was thinking DNS, and looked in my router cfg for one, but nothing was obvious (its not a cheap router either by home standards). I've got domains online already, but this is my internal test environment (I'm a web developer setting up my own project). I did try the host name config, but I guess without dns it's got nothing to go off. –  Jon Egerton Apr 19 '11 at 13:34

Your home router probably has a built-in DHCP and DNS server. Point your web browser to it and see if there are configuration options for those. See if you can add some static host name entries. I'm not familiar with that model, but others that I know do have those features. The configure your hosts to use DHCP and they will get that router as a name server also.

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