What Is Hostname?

What Is Hostname?

“Hostnames,” originally called “nodenames,” describe objects connected to a network, such as computers or servers.

The hostname is used on local area networks (LANs), like your home network, and wide area networks (WANs), like the internet. When devices are given unique hostnames on a network, users can identify them more easily.

The hostname is made up of a straightforward string of alphanumeric characters, with the addition of a hyphen as an option.

Typically, domain names are appended to real hostnames to ensure that each assignment is unique. The host-specific name follows the domain name, followed by a period.

Therefore, the URL URL’s https://www.example.com would be example.com, but the hostname would be www. www is the typical host for web servers and would act as the hostname for the URL.

As an example of one such hostname, “m” might be used for the servers that host mobile websites. The term “mail” is generally used for mail servers.

It is referred to as a fully qualified domain name, or FQDN, when the domain name has all the above components, including the top-level domain (.com).

FQDNs (fully qualified domain names) that contain DNS domains are associated with the hosts’ IP addresses in the Domain Name System (DNS). Domains can then be assigned IP addresses and vice versa using the DNS.

How Does Hostname Work?

The use of IP addresses in networks has allowed computers to be given hostnames since the beginning, but these hostnames have not been implemented fully.

It is just a number indicating the type of network a computer is in, called an IP address. Early computers used small numbers as their host addresses when communicating with other computers on the Internet. 

One of the first internet Requests for Comments (RFC) is a table that lists the host names and numbers associated with the computers connected to the internet. 

It is possible to assign a host number to a computer and then use this hostname when that computer wants to communicate with other computers on the internet.

The table originally listed 20 hosts, but as the number of computers and servers connected to the Internet grew rapidly, it became evident that this solution was not scalable or flexible enough to support it.

The user must create a separate file for each computer for which they want to store the host names. DNS addressed these problems.

Domain names are like numbers in a phone book; they are listed on the Internet similarly to people’s names for their telephone numbers.

IP addresses are used to communicate between computers in a network. They are associated with a readable and memorable name in the domain name system or DNS. 

Every computer has a unique network IP address assigned to it using a syntax that guarantees that it is unique and valid. 

IP addresses do not tell you anything about a computer or its functions within a network. Each computer is given a unique hostname (or IP address), a unique identifier that makes it easier for users to find computer names for their computers quickly.

What Are Policies For Hostname Assignment?

Local network hostnames can be given out without adhering to any particular rules because there is no predetermined format for them. 

However, they are not allowed to have spaces between the words or special characters like commas, periods, or apostrophes.

The “DoD Internet Host Table Specification,” the first document to establish the rules for public hostnames, is considered the first hostname specification.

This standard requires names to contain the letters A through Z (with case sensitivity), the numerals 0 through 9, the minus sign (-), and the period (.).

A hostname cannot include spaces anywhere inside it at this time. The initial character needed to be a letter, and the final character could not be a negative sign or a period in any form. Additionally, it was suggested that the limit not go over 24 characters.

However, in 1989, a newer protocol known as RFC 1123 superseded this older one, which was known as RFC 953.

A domain name can have any number or letter as the initial character; it must not end in a hyphen and can have as many as 255 characters.

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