World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Host (network)

Article Id: WHEBN0004534553
Reproduction Date:

Title: Host (network)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Node (networking), Bulletin board system, Internet Group Management Protocol, Matchmaking (video games), File Transfer Protocol
Collection: Networking Hardware
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Host (network)

A network host is a computer or other device connected to a computer network. A network host may offer information resources, services, and applications to users or other nodes on the network. A network host is a network node that is assigned a network layer host address.

Computers participating in networks that use the Internet Protocol Suite may also be called IP hosts. Specifically, computers participating in the Internet are called Internet hosts, sometimes Internet nodes. Internet hosts and other IP hosts have one or more IP addresses assigned to their network interfaces. The addresses are configured either manually by an administrator, automatically at start-up by means of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), or by stateless address autoconfiguration methods.

Every network host is a physical network node (i.e. a network device), but not every physical network node is a host. Network devices such as modems, hubs and network switches are not assigned host addresses (except sometimes for administrative purposes), and are consequently not considered to be network hosts. Devices such as network printers and hardware routers have IP addresses, but since they are not general-purpose computers, they are sometimes not considered to be hosts.

Network hosts that participate in applications that use the client-server model of computing, are classified as server or client systems. Network hosts may also function as nodes in peer-to-peer applications, in which all nodes share and consume resources in an equipotent manner.


  • Server and Host 1
  • Origin of the concept 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Server and Host

Host Server
Always a physical node Can be a physical node or a software program
Can run both server and client programs Installed on a host
Provides specific services to the clients Provides specific services
Serves multiple users and devices Serves only clients

Origin of the concept

In operating systems, the term terminal host traditionally denotes a multi-user computer or software providing services to computer terminals, or a computer that provides services to smaller or less capable devices,[1] such as a main frame computers serving teletype terminals or video terminals. Other examples are a telnet host (a telnet server) and an xhost (X Window client).

The term "Internet host" or just "host" is used in a number of Request for Comments (RFC) documents that define the Internet and its predecessor, the ARPANET. While the ARPANET was developed, computers connected to the network were typically main frame computer systems that could be accessed from terminals connected via serial ports. Since these dumb terminals did not host software or perform computations themselves, they were not considered hosts. The terminals were connected to the terminal hosts through serial interfaces and perhaps circuit switched networks, but not connected to any IP based network, and were not assigned IP addresses. Today's IP hosts may, however, lack the ability to serve as terminal hosts.

RFC 871 defines a host, as a general-purpose computer system connected to a communications network for "... the purpose of achieving resource sharing amongst the participating operating systems...".[2]

See also


  1. ^ E. Garrison Walters, essential guide to computing, page 149, Prentice Hall PTR, 2001.
  2. ^ RFC 871, A Perspective on the ARPANET Reference Model, M.A. Padlipsky (September 1982)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.