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When I connect my iPad to the wifi network at work, I can ping it by name: ping my-ipad. Clearly the router is somehow exposing it via DNS, or something like that.

But when I connect my iPad to the wifi network at my home, I don't get this. Even if I go into nslookup and explicitly set the DNS server to my router, I get an unknown host error when trying to look up the iPad.

I'm using the same Mac and same iPad in both cases.

How does the iPad broadcast its name? Perhaps my home router just doesn't support this feature, whatever it is, but I'm hopeful it's just some option I can toggle - so what settings should I be looking at (or for) on my home router?

I don't want to edit the hosts file on my Mac (I can't guarantee the IP address of my iPad will always be the same), and I don't want to jailbreak the iPad.

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3 Answers 3

It goes by the phones name, dropping special characters, and spaces become hyphens. So for example my iPhone is named "Joshua's iPhone" (I know real creative).

DHCP sees it as Joshuas-iPhone"

Although I was unable to ping my phone by its name, or IP address, not sure if Apple has blocked a port to make this impossible, never really looked into really...

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Actually it is seen as Joshuas-iPhone.local and is pingable – Mark Apr 3 '13 at 18:25

The iPhone can be found by name using Bonjour. The name will be my-ipad.local This name is the name in theIOS device with spaces and some punctuation removes as in @TheX's answer and then local as the domain telling devices to use Bonjour lookup. this name is not held in the router, Bonjour asks devices to call out their name on the network.

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I have noticed the same on iPhone for a long time, and not just at home but on WIFI networks with different routers including Apple Airport. WIFI works great but I still find annoying. This is the app I use to check it: Wireless Network Watcher from I don't think it has to do with the hyphens and spaces as my phone is named like myshortnameiphone5. iPhone 5, iOS 6.1.3, latest firmware. For the three other people in the world anal enough to care about this; I bet you will like this app; "Emerald Time" by Sequoia. Accurately checks your ? (Delta) from UTC.

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No need to hawk an unrelated app in this answer. – Nate Jun 3 '13 at 13:31

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