What is Localhost?

In computer networking, host means a “server”. Just like you can put a website on the internet by hosting it on a server, you can make your own computer that server. This connection is called loopback. The IP address for that loopback is 127.0.0.1.

If you’ve put a website on the internet before, then you’ve dealt with hosting companies like Heroku, Hostinger, Netlify, and many others. These are what I refer to as “remote hosts” or virtual servers.

If you’ve served a website on your computer so you can test it without connecting to the internet, what you’re dealing with is a localhost.

So, by definition, localhost is the computer or hostname currently making a request to itself. In this case, the computer is also the virtual server.

What is the IP Address 127.0.0.1?

If you want to visit a website, you type the website address to your browser’s address bar, for example, https://owlasylum.net.

The Domain Name Server (DNS) matches the address to a numeric IP address corresponding to that name.

Localhost is not an exception to this. So, if you type localhost to your browser’s address bar, it transforms to the IP address 127.0.0.1.

This 127.0.0.1 IP address is reserved for local servers on computers, so you will never find another IP address that starts with 127.

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