Remote connections and shared folders across different subnets within a local area network using hostnames.

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I'm trying to use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and network file sharing, but due to various network reasons, I can't set a static IP address, and the dynamic IP address frequently changes, causing inconvenience. Therefore, I want to use hostnames for connections but encountered some issues.

I'm using a campus network, so I can't view or configure the router. The two devices are running Windows 10 Professional and Windows 11 Professional, respectively, both connected to the campus network (a large local area network), but they are not in the same subnet. Their IP addresses are both in the format 10.102.XXX.XX, with only the last two digits being different.

Here's what I can currently do:

  1. Within the campus network, I can ping the other device's IP address, and I get good connectivity with low latency.
  2. Within the campus network, I can directly establish a Remote Desktop connection and access shared folders using the IP addresses.
  3. When both devices connect to a mobile hotspot or another local network or are in the same subnet, they can see each other in Windows File Explorer under "Network," and I can access them directly using hostnames (I've tried common solutions, but I suspect it's an issue related to different subnets).
    • I've enabled "Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP" in the advanced TCP/IP settings of the corresponding network's IPv4 protocol settings.

The issues I'm facing are:

  1. Within the campus network, I have limited success using hostnames for connections; it says it can't find the corresponding host, and it asks me to use an IP address or specify the full hostname.
  2. Within the campus network, both devices cannot see each other in Windows File Explorer under "Network."

The desired solution: I want both devices to see each other in Windows File Explorer under "Network" within the campus network, be able to use hostnames directly for remote connections, and not have to look up IP addresses each time. (Once again, I want to emphasize that the campus network doesn't support setting static IPs, and I prefer not to use other internal network tunneling or software solutions but to establish a direct LAN connection.)

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Windows Network
Windows: A family of Microsoft operating systems that run across personal computers, tablets, laptops, phones, internet of things devices, self-contained mixed reality headsets, large collaboration screens, and other devices.Network: A group of devices that communicate either wirelessly or via a physical connection.
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  1. Anonymous


    Thank you for posting in Q&A forum.

    Since your devices are in different subnets, subnet broadcasts might not reach each other. You may need to rely on DNS for name resolution.

    Considering your constraints, here are steps you can try to further resolve the issue:

    1. Improve DNS Resolution:

    a. Check DNS server configuration

    If possible, please check DNS Server topology/DNS scope range/Subnet devide or related information for reference.

    b. Check Client DNS Settings:

    Ensure that the DNS settings on both Windows machines are correctly configured. If there's campus internal DNS server, make sure it is being used for hostname resolution as primary DNS Server. You can check and configure DNS settings in the network adapter properties.

    1. Configure Network Visibility:

    As you can't configure the router, if there's an IT department who manages campus network, consider discussing the issue with them. They may have insights or be able to make adjustments on the network infrastructure.

    1. Workaround

    You can write an automatic PowerShell script to get IP address of these two windows clients and apply for RDP connection, then the scripts will be used for following login request without manual DNS resolution.

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