A hostname of a computer that is currently being used to execute a program in which the computer is acting in the capacity of a virtual server. The computer may also be referred to by its IP address. When working on websites, one way to construct a server is to change the code that is stored in the localhost and then export the site’s data to the server. It has an IP address just like any other domain name. The addresses are in the range 127.0.0.0–127.255.255.255, with 127.0.0.1 being the most common. By using IPv4 and connecting to the address 127.0.0.1, a loopback will be triggered, sending a user back to their local web server. By using IPv6, a user can also initiate a loopback connection to their home server by entering “::1”.
Benefits of using localhost
- Speed testing. Used by system administrators and IT teams in businesses to conduct network testing. Testing the network with a localhost doesn’t require an active internet connection. All that’s needed is a request addressed to the localhost.
- Blocking harmful websites. Admins can divert malicious file requests to prevent network assaults. The admin edits the host’s files. Host files list domains and IP addresses. Admins can assign a website’s domain to 127.0.0.1 to prevent the address from loading.
- Web application testing. Before releasing an application or website to the public, most developers do tests on a local host server. The website files don’t have to be sent to the internet for testing. Thus the sites can be developed in private until they are ready to be shown to the public.