February 4, 2019
February 4, 2019
We use languages to communicate with each other. However, some vocabularies are too specific for some situations or subjects, like computer terminology. If you want to learn about networking, it’s important to understand the language that you’ll run into. No better place to start, than learning what is localhost.
In computer networking localhost refers to a computer running a program. The computer works as a virtual server. In this sense, the computer is not a physical object but a system that runs inside. If that is difficult to understand, consider localhost as a way to ‘call’ your computer in the context of networking.
Localhost is not only a term but can also be a domain name, like google.com or wikipedia.org. It’s an address. If typing google.com in a browser directs you to Google’s main page, where will localhost take you? It will take you to your computer. This situation is also known as a loopback address.
Like any other domain name, localhost also has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The address ranges from 127.0.0.0 to 127.255.255.255, but it’s normally 127.0.0.1. Trying to open 127.0.0.1 in an IPv4 connection will trigger a loopback. You can also start a loopback in an IPv6 connection by entering :1.
Fun fact: the first section of the address – 127 – is reserved only for loopbacks. For that reason, Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) immediately recognizes that you want to contact your computer after entering any address that starts with these numbers. That is why no websites can’t have an IP address that begins with 127. If initiated, this action will create a loopback device; which is a virtual interface inside your computer’s operating system.
So what can you do with localhost? Despite its simple meaning, localhost is useful if you are a computer technician. Generally, there are three advantages that loopback offers:
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Now you understand that localhost is not merely a technical term for your computer. It is a domain name that enables you to do some testing and even close access to websites. If you aspire to be an IT technician, it is essential to know how to use a loopback according to your needs.