Host Name

What Does Host Name Mean?

A host name is a unique name or label assigned to any device that is connected to a specific computer network. It facilitates the differentiation of different machines or devices connected to the Internet, a network and/or both. Allotted and assigned host names are based on the naming system used.


A host name is also known as a hostname.

Techopedia Explains Host Name

A host name may be alphabetic or alphanumeric and include limited symbols that are specifically used to identify a particular network node or device. Depending on the naming system in use, a host name’s syntax and requirement vary. For example, when used in the Domain Name System (DNS) or for the Internet, a host name must include the top level domain name (TLD) and have a length between one and 63 characters.

The Internet Engineering and Taskforce (IETF) published specification RFC 1123, which allows numbers at the beginning of a host name. However, no symbols, with the exception of the hyphen, are allowed.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…