Home LAN DNS with Router?

January 1, 2009 at 14:33:32
Specs: Windows XP, 2 gig
I know I can modify the hosts file on each home computer to set their computer names to their corresponding IP.

But I was wondering if there was any home router, say a Linksys, that would allow one to do the same thing in a table.

I have to enter an IP address to get Remote Desktop to work on a few of my home computers.

I thought it would be cool if my router could be configured to handle that for me in a routing table; hence I could just remember the name and not have to recall the IP.

Is such a thing possible without having to install a DNS server?

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January 1, 2009 at 19:07:59
If your router acts as a DNS server and the workstations will get the ip via DHCP from the router, you should be able to access each workstation by using it's name.

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January 3, 2009 at 08:43:44
Along with what paulsep said, you can also use a website like dyndns.org to configure dynamic DNS to connect to a hostname.

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January 4, 2009 at 10:50:05
Thanks for responding.

That is just it. Can a router be configured as a DNS server at home? Without having to outside one's home LAN?

I was hoping I could put a computer name and IP in m Linsys WRT54G and it would handle what I could do with a hosts file. Problem with the hosts file is my DHCP address changes occassionally and I didn't want to leave that hosts file on my work laptop.

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January 4, 2009 at 13:23:54
If you're using DHCP at home and at work, the informations will change automatically.
You don't have to make any changes in the HOSTS file.
When your laptop gets an ip address via DHCP, it tells the router it's onw name. So the router knows the name, the mac address and the associated ip address of your laptop.

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January 4, 2009 at 13:35:35
Well, I wish mine worked that way. Both are set to DHCP, and unless I put the IP number of my desktop computer in the Remote Desktop dialog box, it will not connect.

IE., Putting my computer name in the dialog box for remote desktop, I don't connect. Putting the IP number in that dialog box, I do. If I put the computer name in the hosts file, I connect.

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January 5, 2009 at 08:50:26
Have you configured the network connection, to get DNS also automatically?
This is necessary, to get it to work.

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January 5, 2009 at 15:57:18
Yes, everything is set DHCP. Even my Status page on my Linksys Router, DHCP Clients Page, shows the host names to IP numbers.

So I really don't know why Remote Desktop doesn't connect via pc name to my desktop from my laptop.

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January 5, 2009 at 18:36:22
Can you ping a workstation by using it's name now?
(Even, if there is no entry in the hosts file !!! )

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February 1, 2009 at 21:25:34
Hi, Themus!

I have a similar router. Here's a workaround -- as you know. For others this may be helpful.

You can add the LAN IP addresses to your hosts file. I am using Win XP Pro and the hosts file can be found here: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\etc

Open with Notepad. Note: the hosts file does not have a suffix so don't save as txt file (rename if necessary). The hosts file looks like this:


# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# rhino.acme.com # source server
# x.acme.com # x client host localhost


Just add your LAN IP numbers and computer names after localhost, like this: whatever name 1 whatever name 2 whatever name 3 whatever name 4

Since this is on local you will have to do this for all computer on the LAN, of course. It's a good workaround. More here:



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February 2, 2009 at 15:23:43
Thank you for the response. Your idea works well, but since these IP address's are assigned via the DHCP settings of the router, they are subject to change when their lease expires. Meaning,every so often I am going to have to redo the hosts file on every pc.

I've had to settle with getting the ip from the status page of the router and then using the IP address given to connect to these pc's.

Probably not so simple, but I would think they could build DNS in a router for a home lan and separate that from the WAN outside your home.

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February 2, 2009 at 15:51:05
Some real misunderstanding of how dns works here.

If you are going to use a hosts file you should do mac filtering/ip reservations in the router so each pc gets the same ip every time.

Sometimes I have found if you ping -a ipaddress that the next time you can ping by name. See if that doesn't work for you.

Usually on a lan Microsoft reverts to netbios name resolution. This requires all wins tabs in network properties to have netbios enabled over tcp/ip. This is why there is a master browser, you need someone to tell you who and where everyone is.

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