On the Internet, a "hostname" is a set of alphanumeric characters that identify a computer or server. A hostname is similar in concept to an IP address, which is a unique number that identifies a machine online. Hostnames are particularly useful in organisations with large numbers of computers, as a hostname can be used to identify an individual machine on a large network more easily than an IP address. You can map any IP address online to a hostname using the Windows Ping command.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Click the round Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the desktop to open the Start menu.
Type "cmd" in the white "Search programs and files" rectangle at the bottom of the menu. Press "Enter" to open the command prompt.
Type "ping -a" followed by the IP address that you want to map to a hostname. For example, a completed command might look like "ping -a 127.0.0.1." Press "Enter."
Examine the first line that Windows displays after pressing "Enter" to determine the hostname of the IP address that you have entered. For example, pinging the IP address 188.8.131.52 results in the line "Pinging vnsc-pri.sys.gtei.net [184.108.40.206] with 32 bytes of data." In this case, "vnsc-pri.sys.gtei.net" is the hostname.
Mapping a Hostname in Windows
Tips and warnings
- You can also map an IP address to a hostname using a Web-based tool if you are on a non-Windows computer. Three such tools are listed in the "Resources" section below. To use one of the tools, simply enter the IP address in the box provided and click the button. The resulting screen displays the hostname for the given IP address.
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