Windows includes a local ‘Hosts’ file that contains domain names and matching IP addresses, acting as a map to identify and locate hosts on IP networks. Every time you visit a website, your computer will check the host’s file first to see which IP address it connects to. If the information is not there, your internet service provider will look into the DNS for the resources to load the site. Hosts files have existed since ARPANET time and were used to resolve hostnames before DNS was introduced. These files aid in network name resolution. The syntax is consistent across all platforms. it is worth noting that, most host files will have several entries for loopback. In this guide, you will learn to locate and edit the host file on Windows. Here are some related guides: Domain Naming System: How to activate DNS over TLS in Windows 11, how to set up a third-party DNS server on a Linux Server, and how to set up a third-party DNS server on a Linux Server.
If you would like to create some entries or modify the entries in host files, the below steps are steps to go about it. n Windows 10 and Windows Server, the location of the host file can be found in this path
Select a Text Editor to have the host file opened. I have also created a record for
test.techdirect.local. When you are done, click on save and close the text editor.
That is all that needs to be done if you do not intend to use DNS for this.