I will create a more complete guide with pictures and all later. I want to get this down while its fresh in my head.
So the point of this guide is to make your home network act like it has a real DNS server and not just a Linksys, D-link, Netgear or whatever brand router.
This guide will be based around a D-link brand router since it’s what I own and have on hand.
Note: some older routers (especially Linksys) simply pass DNS to your external ISP servers. This is bad and if this is the case then this guide will not apply. This guide will also not apply if you do not own a router and instead have a switch installed in its place. To check if your DNS is internal or external open the command prompt and run “ipconfig /all” without the quotes. If the DNS server matches your gateway or something close then its internal.
To check if your computer names are recognized on your network open a command prompt and ping the name of a machine on your network. If you get a response from the machine with it’s IP address then you are all set.
First we need to get all the machines in the same workgroup, This alone will resolve computer names in most cases. To assign all of your machines to the same workgroup open control panel and then navigate to the system icon. From there find the computer name tab and click on change. I would name the group something unique that you will remember. My group is called Orlogroup for example.
Next we need to make sure your router is recognizing the machines. The whole point of this guide is to not type an IP address when we want to RDP or connect to a share on a workstation so set a DHCP range in your router and make sure your machines are all set to DHCP. Now the router knows your machine IP, Name and MAC address.
If your router has an option for a local DNS server you will want to type “local” in the box. This will ensure whenever you perform a ping operation or initialize an RDP session by computer name the router will put “.local” after the name which is crucial to this working.
After these steps are complete you should now be able to ping the machine name with a response and RDP to the machine by using it’s name instead of IP address.
Next I will show you how to remote desktop into multiple machines on your network with an easy to remember name that dynamically updates with your ISP.
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