What is the Difference Between a Domain Name and a Hostname?

Domain names and hostnames are two different types of identifiers that can be used to access devices on a network. Hostnames are human-readable names that correspond to a device’s unique network hardware MAC address.

A hostname and a domain name are combined to create a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). When you enter a hostname into an application, DNS translates it into an IP address.

Domain Names

Domain names are the unique name that identifies a website on the Internet. They function in a similar way to street addresses in the physical world, providing specific information that allows web browsers to locate websites.

A domain name is a human-friendly text form of the IP address that identifies a server where a website is hosted. It is used to easily identify a particular website and can be accessed by typing the domain name in the search bar of a web browser.

A hostname is a label that identifies devices on a network and enables them to communicate with each other. It is also known as a local hostname, network hostname or node name. A hostname is mapped to an IP address, which makes it easier for computers on the same network to identify and locate devices. The combination of a hostname and a domain name is called a fully qualified domain name (FQDN).


Hostnames are human-readable labels that identify a device in a network. They can consist of letters from a through z, numbers from 0 to 9, and hyphens. Hostnames can be combined with domain names to create a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

In computer networking, hostnames are used to uniquely identify devices on a network. This allows the devices to be accessed and identified by other systems and by users. They are used in various forms of electronic communication, such as the World Wide Web.

Hostnames are also used in a local area network, such as a home or office. You can give each device a unique hostname, such as mylaptop or printer1. Then, you can easily access those devices when you need to. They are also useful for identifying the devices in a syslog-style log file.

IP Addresses

The difference between a hostname and a domain name is that the former is a human-readable label used to identify a computer on a network, while the latter is a part of an internet address. It includes a top-level domain and the hostname appended together, creating what is known as a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

Network administrators use hostnames to distinguish devices within a local network. This helps prevent confusion and allows for easier troubleshooting of connectivity issues.

However, the naming convention for hostnames is not always unique and can be exposed to attackers. This can lead to security breaches in the future.

When resolving a hostname on a local machine, the contents of the /etc/hosts file are checked first before using DNS to resolve the name. Then, the resolution process takes into account the host’s domain name and top-level domain, if applicable. This makes resolving a hostname more reliable and secure than using just an IP address.


In order to keep the internet running smoothly, ICANN plays a key role in the way that domain names and IP addresses work together. For example, ICANN ensures that the same domain name can never be used twice so that people don’t end up going to different websites with the same address.

ICANN also works with regional Internet registries to manage the distribution of IP addresses. It makes sure that each region gets its fair share of addresses and that the allocations are done fairly.

Hostnames are unique names that identify devices on a network. They can be appended to a DNS domain, or used separately from the domain. When hostnames are included in a fully qualified domain name, they are called FQDNs. In the case of the Internet, domain names are separated by periods (‘dot’) and are read from right to left, with identifiers being the most general on the left and the most specific on the right.

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