How many times have you forgotten the URL address of your wireless administration interface page? Probably more often than you can remember and at times when you really need to configure something.
Let face it, trying to remember an IP address is like trying to remember a phone number (unless you are old school and don't program phone numbers in your phone).
https://192.168.1.1 isn't something that an average computer user wants to remember.
So how can you make it easier to remember? By using a host name, similar to how you remember sites on the Internet, like watchingthenet.com.
But your probably thinking that you don't have DNS running on your wireless home network.
No problem. Here's how you can utilize DNS-like-service with your Windows computer.
Using A Host File
When it comes to DNS (Domain Name Service) name resolution, your computer first checks it's local host file to resolve the host name to an IP Address. If no record exist for the host name, it will then query the DNS servers (that are listed in your IP configuration of your NIC card).
To create a record in your local host file:
- Double click on the My Computer icon (or open Windows Explorer) and navigate to the following folder:
- You should see a file named hosts, as shown in the below screen shot.
- Double click on the file and open the file with Notepad.
- Once the hosts file is open, you will want to add the following line (to the bottom of the file) similar to mine. In my example, I want to connect to my Linksys wireless router using the host name myrouter.
NOTE: You can use any host name you want, but don't use a name that is known on the Internet, such as google, or yahoo.
- After adding the line, save the file and close it.
You will now be able to connect to your wireless router using the new host name.
If you use an external DNS service, such as OpenDNS you can add a shortcut.
Shortcuts allow you to a create single word to specific URLs. So, using my example above, I can the shortcut myrouter with the URL https://192.168.1.1.
To create a shortcut, see the following how-to on OpenDNS web site.
As you can see, these are two easy methods for having DNS like services…with out running an actual DNS server. If you are fortunate, some routers include a built in DNS server that you can use.
But if you just want to make things easy, using a host file is simple enough. Just remember, if you rebuild your computer or buy a new one, don't forget to modify the host file using the steps above.