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What is the advantage that two hosts map to the same IP address?

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Are you talking about setups where multiple DNS entries point to the same IP address? That''s useful because a) IP numbers are limited (32 bits in IPv4) and b) a single machine can easily handle many low-traffic websites.

Or are you talking about a setup where routers may actually send packets to the same IP address to more than one physical machine? AFAIK some big ISPs use this for DNS load balancing. They have DNS servers spread out in the network, but all DNS servers "listen" to the same IP addresses, so DNS queries will go to the nearest server.

cu,
Prefect

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Assuming you''re talking about the hosts file (judging by your other post), you could have "http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/forum.asp?forum_id=3" link to "lounge.gamedev.net" if you wanted to, then you wouldn''t need to type in the whole address, just the shortened one.
If not, then i dunno what you''re talking about

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