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Windows Internet Computer Names

Published: December 6, 2006
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IntroductionIntroduction
Configuring a Windows Internet Computer NameConfiguring a Windows Internet Computer Name
Obtaining a Computer’s Windows Internet Computer NameObtaining a Computer’s Windows Internet Computer Name
Using the Windows Internet Computer NameUsing the Windows Internet Computer Name
Related LinksRelated Links

Introduction

Have you ever wanted to be able to find and connect to your home computer across the Internet, but did not want the complexity and cost of buying a domain name and managing Domain Name System (DNS) records? With Microsoft® Windows Vista™, you can use Windows Internet Computer Names. This article will show you how to configure a Windows Internet Computer Name and use it in common tools and applications.

Configuring a Windows Internet Computer Name

A Windows Internet Computer Name can be one of two types: unsecured or secured. Unsecured names are easy to remember and type—such as johndoe.pnrp.net—but can be spoofed. The computer that you connect to using this name is not guaranteed to really be your home computer. For example, you might not be the only person who is using the johndoe.pnrp.net name.

Secured names are more complex but cannot be spoofed. An example of a secured name is the following:

p.p4562b4628ac54782dda52789038476237e7c7263.pnrp.net

The following sections describe how to configure unsecured and secured Windows Internet Computer Names.

Configuring an Unsecured Windows Internet Computer Name

For an unsecured name, choose a name that you would like to use. For simplicity, it should be only lowercase letters with no special punctuation or symbol characters. Microsoft recommends that you use your e-mail address without the “@” or “.” characters. For example, the email name johndoe@microsoft.com becomes johndoemicrosoftcom.

To configure an unsecured name, do the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. When prompted with a User Account Control message box, click Continue.

  3. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following command:

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine name="0. PeerName " publish=start autopublish=enable

    PeerName is your chosen Windows Internet Computer Name. For example, for the name johndoemicrosoftcom, the command is:

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine name="0. johndoemicrosoftcom" publish=start autopublish=enable

  4. Close the Administrator: Command Prompt window.

Configuring a Secured Windows Internet Computer Name

To configure a secured name, do the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. When prompted with a User Account Control message box, click Continue.

  3. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following command:

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine publish=start autopublish=enable

  4. Close the Administrator: Command Prompt window.

Switching Between Secured and Unsecured Windows Internet Computer Names

If you have already configured a secured Windows Internet Computer Name, you can switch to an unsecured name by following the steps in the "Configuring an Unsecured Windows Internet Computer Name" section of this article.

If you have already configured an unsecured name, you can switch to a secured name by doing the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. When prompted with a User Account Control message box, click Continue.

  3. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following commands:

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine name=""

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine publish=stop

    netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine publish=start

  4. Close the Administrator: Command Prompt window.

Obtaining a Computer’s Windows Internet Computer Name

To obtain the Windows Internet Computer Name of a computer after you have configured either an unsecured or secured name, do the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. When prompted with a User Account Control message box, click Continue.

  3. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following command:

    netsh p2p pnrp peer show machine

    The display of this command shows the Windows Internet Computer Name. The following is an example:

    Machine Name: b304d5a80b1ae3a5d2d4eee783e57ed8084f1fcb.
    Use this format DNS name in other applications to refer to this machine: 
    p.b304d5a80b1ae3a5d2d4eee783e57ed8084f1fcb.pnrp.net
    The machine name is being published.
    The machine name is configured to be published automatically.
    

    The Windows Internet Computer Name for this example display is p.b304d5a80b1ae3a5d2d4eee783e57ed8084f1fcb.pnrp.net.

  4. Write down the Windows Internet Computer Name.

  5. Close the Administrator: Command Prompt window.

Using the Windows Internet Computer Name

Windows Internet Computer Names can be used almost anywhere in Windows Vista that accepts an Internet Protocol (IP) address or DNS name. The following sections show examples of using a Windows Internet Computer Name in Windows Vista tools and applications.

Ping Tool

On the computer with the name published or another computer, use the Ping tool at a command prompt. Instead of pinging a computer by its IP address or DNS name, use it’s Windows Internet Computer Name.

For example, to ping the computer with the Windows Internet Computer Name of p.b304d5a80b1ae3a5d2d4eee783e57ed8084f1fcb.pnrp.net, you would use the following command:

ping p.b304d5a80b1ae3a5d2d4eee783e57ed8084f1fcb.pnrp.net

Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop can work with Windows Internet Computer Names. To enable Remote Desktop, do the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

  2. Under Tasks, click Remote settings.

  3. When prompted with a User Account Control message box, click Continue.

  4. In the Remote Desktop section of the System Properties window, click Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop, and then click OK.

  5. Close the System window.

You can now use Remote Desktop to connect from another computer by doing the following:

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. In the Remote Desktop Connection window, type the Windows Internet Computer Name for the computer that you are trying to connect in Computer, and then click Connect.

  3. Log on to the remote computer using an appropriate user name and password.

You can use this procedure to connect to any Windows Vista-based computer on the Internet that has IPv6 connectivity. You typically cannot use this procedure to connect to computers on private organization networks, such as your work computer.

Other Applications

For other applications, simply use the Windows Internet Computer Name in place of an IP address or DNS name. For example, if you run Internet Information Services (IIS) on your home computer, you can use a Windows Internet Computer Name to access a Web site on your home computer. You can also set up a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) subscription to a feed from your home computer. If you have a multiplayer game, try using a Windows Internet Computer Name where you normally configure an IP address or DNS name.

Related Links

See the following resource for additional information:


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