Localhost is the standard networking convention for the local computer. Any time a computer needs to refer to itself for testing purposes or to direct TCP/IP-based commands back to itself, it can use “localhost” or the loopback address “127.0.0.1”–an IP reserved specifically for the localhost.
One common use of the localhost function outside of diagnostic purposes is as an efficient way to access TCP/IP enabled services on the local machine without the overhead of communicating through the local router or greater internet. For example, if you are running a web server or a content service (like the content-server for ebook manager Calibre) on your local computer, you could access it via web browser with the address http://localhost:8080.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 04/16/13