Understanding the Difference Between localhost and


When it comes to web development and networking, the terms "localhost" and "" are commonly used interchangeably. However, they have subtle differences that are important to understand for developers and IT professionals. In this article, we will explore the distinctions between localhost and and how they are used in various contexts.

  1. Localhost:

"Localhost" is a hostname that refers to the current device used to access it. It is commonly used to access the network services that are running on the host via the loopback network interface. The loopback interface is a virtual network interface that a computer uses to communicate with itself.


  • If you are running a web server on your local machine, you can access it in a web browser by navigating to http://localhost:port, where "port" is the specific port your web server is running on.

  • In database configurations, you might set the host to "localhost" when connecting to a local database server.


On the other hand, "" is the loopback IP address assigned to the loopback interface. It is often used as a numerical representation of localhost. When a device sends data to, it is looped back to the same device without going through the network, similar to the localhost concept.


  • Just like using "localhost," you can access a locally hosted web server by navigating to in a web browser.

  • In some network configurations or system files, you might find references to when specifying the local machine as the target.


  1. Representation:

    • "Localhost" is a human-readable hostname.

    • "" is the numerical representation of localhost.

  2. Usage:

    • "Localhost" is often used in software configurations and development environments.

    • "" is used in network configurations and system files where an IP address is required.

  3. Access Methods:

    • Accessing a service via "localhost" or "" essentially achieves the same result. However, the preference may vary depending on the context.


While "localhost" and "" are closely related and are used to achieve the same goal, understanding their differences is crucial, especially in scenarios where one form might be preferred over the other. Developers and IT professionals should be aware of these distinctions to ensure proper configuration and seamless communication within local environments. Whether you use "localhost" or "" ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the system or application you are working with.