Do you have a unique naming scheme for your network devices? Do their names hold a literal meaning, or were they picked just to be silly?
In large networks, administrators tend to assign specific names to various network equipment in order to identify exactly where and what a specific device is from anywhere in the network. Sometimes, the names can appear to make very little sense as you look at them, either appearing as an alphanumeric code or names of people, places, or things completely unrelated to your business or the equipment itself. Avoiding specific names that give any user on the network a view of exactly what is in the internal network at a glance is one of these common precautions.
So, how do you name the computers in your home network? Being generally smaller than medium to large business networks, you have more freedom to establish a fun and memorable naming scheme for each of your devices. Here are five creative ways to name your home network devices:
Greek and Roman Gods
While it might sound corny, you can actually put together a very solid and complex naming scheme using the names of gods featured in Greek and Roman mythology. Like networks, these mythological deities were separated into different classes splitting their hundreds of combined gods into greater and lesser deities. This could work on your home network just as well.
Where major deities like Zeus and Jupiter might apply to some of the larger and more important aspects of your network, minor deities and heroes including Hercules could very well apply to smaller parts, like your smartphone and tablet computer.
Establishing a color system gives you very simple method of dividing up duties and types of devices. Assigning a color and a number to each device allows you to immediately sense what it is and which one it is. If numbering schemes are too much of a hassle to keep up with, consider names that relate to their color. Blue Sky, Red Velvet, Yellow Submarine, and other creative names can make your network more colorful and interesting to work with.
Cartoon and Sesame Street Characters
Do you have a favorite cartoon? Naming components of your network after G.I. Joe or Sesame Street characters can add a fun and memorable twist to otherwise dull and boring network troubleshooting. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to remember device associations when you begin thinking of them not as the boring computers that they are on the outside, but the character you’ve associated with them. When Bert is having trouble connecting to the Web, you’ll know Ernie is probably to blame.
Are you a car enthusiast? Why not give your network a naming system that plays to your passions? Maybe all of your networking devices should be named after Ford vehicles and your computers after ones made by Honda? Naming your equipment after cars also makes for interesting conversation when something stops working. Explaining to your roommate that Ford Pinto broke down again is a lot more fun than simply grumbling about the printer.
Star Wars Characters
A wise man once said, “The Force is like duct tape. It has both a light and dark side, and it holds the world together.” While too many home networks appear to be held together with duct tape and a prayer, giving your devices a Jedi naming system might give them the push they need to resist the dark side. One fun practice with this is naming newer computers after the apprentices of the Jedi that trained them. For example, Obi-Wan could replace Qui-Gon Jinn as your primary PC with Yoda as your home server.
The most important part of any naming system is its ability to work for you. If one subject or scheme clicks well over another, go for it. My home network is very open, with a naming system based on the first letter of each device matching the first letter of what it is. The iPads and iPhones have names that start with the letter “P,” while networking devices all start with the letter “N.” There is no wrong way to name your network as long as you can remember how your system works.