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My ISP provides setup instructions for the Internet connection, where among other things it is required to set a specific computer name and a primary DNS suffix. These settings are provided for Windows and they worked as long as I connected my PC directly to the WAN cable. Now I've got a wireless access point (D-Link DI-524) which I would like to place between my PC and the WAN. So I took all the IP settings from the setup manual and entered them into the router configuration. I however have no idea where I should enter the computer name and the primary DNS suffix. I looked through all configuration pages of the device and found nothing similar to these settings. Should I get another router? Or is it even possible to assign a name to a router?

Also, can someone please explain where the computer name and primary DNS suffix fit into the OSI model and why they may be needed?

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"and why they may be needed?" might only be known by your ISP... because really, the requirement seems a bit unusual for me. –  grawity Sep 20 '11 at 13:46
    
This is a student dormitory which belongs to the "Munich Scientific Network" and people tend to over-complicate things here. –  Dmitry Chornyi Sep 20 '11 at 13:49
    
In centrally managed networks, the DNS suffix makes sense -- you can address other computers by just the hostname instead of having to type hostname.example.net -- but it's still a convenience function, having nothing to do with actual functioning of the Internet connection. –  grawity Sep 20 '11 at 13:51
    
What about the computer name? can it be that the ISP looks at it and blocks the connection if it does not match the expected value? –  Dmitry Chornyi Sep 20 '11 at 13:54
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@dima.chorny - You need to verify that you are allowed to setup a wireless network. When I was in college that would get your ability to connect to the school's network suspended for at least 6 months if you were caught. We had to register our computer once a semester. –  Ramhound Sep 20 '11 at 14:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

On Windows, your computer tell your host name to others in two ways:

  • Non-DNS name resolution protocols like Windows File Sharing (NetBIOS/LanMan/SAMBA) and Apple Bonjour broadcast your machine name to others within the local network
  • Managed computers, like those in a domain environment, can register their IP addresses automatically using "Dynamic DNS" (RFC2136).

It is usually desirable from a network administrative perspective to unify the non-DNS and DNS host name so a host can always be reliably identified. Otherwise your computer may show up under two names or you maybe able to spoof other's computer name.

However, many routers don't support the NetBIOS protocol used in Windows File Sharing, so there's no way you can set the host name. What you can do is to forward the relevant ports TCP 137, TCP 139, UDP 137, UDP138 to a Windows computer and set the host name there.

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very valid. i think it might be looking for the hostname in the DHCP request though. –  hbdgaf Sep 20 '11 at 14:20
    
It uses the static IP configuration. The host name can indeed be edited for the dynamic IP configuration of my router, but not the static one. –  Dmitry Chornyi Sep 20 '11 at 14:36

My opinion: the DNS and hostname requirements are to keep you from connecting wireless access points.

You should be able to set the DNS suffix by specifying as the local domain name.

Setting the hostname is equally simple. google-dork:"linux hostname"

These are possible in DDWRT.

Alternately you could set up internet connection sharing for a lightweight linux box. Either way would work.

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