I have set up a simple http server on my local Windows 7 machine and I can access it from my Mac using the ip address and port number. However I can not access it using Windows machine's network name from Mac. At the same time I CAN access a smb share by name on the same computer from the same Mac. So if I go to smb://dell-pc/ I will get connected, however, if I try this in browser http://dell-pc:8000 or a simple ping dell-pc in terminal I will get an error

ping: cannot resolve dell-pc: Unknown host

So apparently my Mac can resolve the name when accessing smb but fails to resolve it when pinging or accessing a web server. What's the logic here?


Windows sharing uses multicast to let other computers know it's existence. It is not the same as domain name in DNS - that's why it's working only in file sharing. To have name on mac just add your Windows machine IP to OSX hosts file:

  1. Lookup your local IP on Windows by running ipconfig command
  2. On OSX edit hosts file sudo nano /private/etc/hosts put line <IP of Windows computer> dell-pc

On local router you can also put static IP for Windows machine to not change it in future.

  • is there any way I could make my dell-pc advertise it's name? I would like to avoid editing hosts file, because I will also need to access this address from iPad, smart TV's browser and other devices. Btw, the pc already has a static ip address. – casper Nov 15 '14 at 17:37
  • you need to run local DNS here you can read about it su – botmonster Nov 15 '14 at 21:03

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