If you occasionally need to change settings on devices connected to your network like your modem router or other computers, you’ll know it’s difficult to remember their IP addresses. One way is to write all the IP addresses down on a chart and pin it above your desk. Another, slightly higher tech way, is to edit your Host file. Done correctly you’ll then be able to access your router configuration page by typing something like ‘router’ into the address line of your browser instead of having to remember a long IP address like 192.168.2.1. Here’s how:
- Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > then right-click on Notepad and select Run as administrator.
- Now open the Hosts file located in the folder c:/windows/system32/drivers/etc/. If you cannot se the Hosts file, simply type the word Hosts into the File Name box.
- Notepad will open the Hosts file which will look something like this:
# Copyright (c) 1993-2006 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
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a ‘#’ symbol.
# For example:
# 22.214.171.124 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 126.96.36.199 x.acme.com # x client host
- Now, at the bottom of the code, add the IP addresses of every device on your network followed by a space then the shortened name you’d like to enter into your browser address bar to locate the device. For example, if your router is at IP address 192.168.2.1 and your laptop uses 192.168.2.12 you might add the following lines to the bottom of your hosts file:
- Now close Notepad, open the internet browser of your choice, and try typing router or laptop (or whatever keywords you chose) into the address bar. Neat eh?
- Remove the chart pinned above your desk and replace with something more calming.