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Unable to access a device in my local network with the host name when Freedome is turned on

Symptoms

When F-Secure Freedome is turned on, it may not be possible to access a device (for example NAS boxes, network printers, smart network appliances) in your local network with its host name. However, it is possible to access the device with the IP address despite having Freedome turned on.

Diagnosis

To access devices that are connected to your local network with Freedome turned on, the host names must be translated to IP addresses first so that it is understood by the networked computer. This is normally done by a DNS server.

Turning on Freedome will result in Freedome handling the DNS queries with its own DNS server. This is by design to prevent DNS information leaking outside the VPN tunnel.

If there are devices in the local or private network accessed by their names and not IP addresses, the computer may try to resolve the names to their IP addresses using the Freedome DNS server. The DNS servers for Freedome do not naturally contain information about your home network devices therefore the host names cannot be translated into their IP addresses.

Due to this, the devices cannot be accessed with their names although they are in the local network.

Solution

Both Windows and Mac computers have the possibility to do the name-to-IP translation locally through the hosts file. The operating system checks the hosts file first before doing the DNS query, therefore this can be used to translate the local device names to their IP addresses.

  1. For Windows
    1. Click the Windows start menu, and type
      Notepad
      .
    2. Right-click on Notepad, and select Run as administrator. Enter administrator credentials if necessary.
    3. In Notepad, go to File > Open.
    4. Browse to Local Disk
      (C:)\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
      . Change the Text Documents (*.txt) selection to All Files (*.*).
    5. Select the file hosts and click Open.
    6. Add your device IP address and name to the end of the file. If you have multiple devices in your local network that you need to access, each of them must be added on its own line. See below for example.
    7. Save the file by selecting File > Save.
  2. For Mac
    1. Open Terminal.
    2. Type in
      sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
      and press Enter.
    3. Enter your administrator password, and press Enter.
    4. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard and scroll to the bottom of the file.
    5. Add your device IP address and name to the end of the file. If you have multiple devices in your local network that you need to access, each of them must be added on its own line. See below for example.
    6. On your keyboard, press Ctrl+X and then Y to exit and save the file. Press Enter to confirm the file name.

Example to add multiple devices to the hosts file on both Windows and Mac:

192.168.123.123 my-nas-box

192.168.123.124 my-network-printer

192.168.123.125 my-smart-fridge
Once you have done the steps above, you should now be able to access your devices using their names also when Freedome is turned on.
Version history
Revision #:
9 of 9
Last update:
Wednesday
Updated by: