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.

2 Answers 2


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.


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...

  • Actually it is seen as Joshuas-iPhone.local and is pingable
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 3, 2013 at 18:25

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