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Hi I would like to have a ip to connect to devices on my network at home, however I don't want to have to remember lots of numbers instead I would like to have address that uses words. For example I can connect to my router using '' or by using 'dsldevice.lan' How would I do this or what is it called as I can't find any info on it on the web. Thanks for any help in advance.

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So, hostname? – Moses Apr 17 '14 at 14:56
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and open the file called 'hosts' with notepad. Scroll to the bottom and add the line:

'IP Address' 'hostname'

for example: Nasdrive

Then go to file and save. You will then be able to go to using the word Nasdrive instead from that machine. This change is machine specific. You will need to do this to all PC's you intend to access using the name Nasdrive (in this example). You can change the IP address and hostname to what you need them to be.

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I think this is probably the best and easiest way for OP to implement what he's asked. No need for DNS and all of that. – Josh Apr 17 '14 at 16:49
After having had to manually update /etc/hosts on 40 machines yesterday, "easiest" quite depends on the network's size. – grawity Apr 17 '14 at 17:01
@grawity batch file on a file server... echo Nasdrive >> /etc/hosts then telnet/ssh into each one... – ratchet freak Apr 17 '14 at 21:00
Thanks ill give this a go – Riley Apr 18 '14 at 9:38

Addresses that use words aren't "IPs" or "IP addresses". (An IPv4 address is four-byte and usually written as four decimal numbers; an IPv6 address as 16 bytes usually written in hexadecimal.)

They might be called hostnames or domain names (it varies; "domain name" kinda implies that it's accessible globally, not just within your local network). On the global internet, the DNS protocol is used to translate such names to IP addresses, so "DNS name" is another possible term (although rare).

If you want the name to work only in your home network, dig into the configuration screen of your router – it will most likely have an option called "local domain" or "local hostnames" or "internal DNS" or something like that.

Another option is various local name resolution protocols – Windows has NBNS and LLMNR built in, to automatically translate computername to an IP address; OS X uses mDNS for names like computername.local; Linux can use either mDNS (via avahi-daemon) or NBNS (via Samba's nmbd).

If you want a name that's accessible globally, your pretty much the only option is to buy a domain name from one of the several hundred registrars (Dynadot, Namecheap, etc., etc., etc.)

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There is also the option to host a local DNS server using standard DNS applications as BIND, maraDNS, PowerDNS, amongst many others. – MaQleod Apr 17 '14 at 15:36
@SteveJessop: Well, depending on the way one reads RFC 882, it did talk about domains as those having SOA and NS records (independent zones)... unlike domain names maybe? – grawity Apr 17 '14 at 20:50
Hi would you be able to use a vpn to connect to my local hostnames globally (I dont really need to do this just wondered) ? – Riley Apr 18 '14 at 9:42
@user: Depends on how you set up both the hostname and the VPN. Corporate VPNs are often configured to use the internal DNS servers that make the "local" domains accessible. – grawity Apr 18 '14 at 9:50

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