I have a site hosted in IIS which I am able to access on the local machine using the IP address and port number eg http://126.96.36.199:86/ . What I would like instead is to access this using something like http://simplesite.dev and I would also like to be able to access this site from any other machine on the network. Is it possible to achieve this? And if so, how?
Yes! You just need to make it run on port 80 instead of 86, and then create a dns record pointing to it.
If you already have a DNS server, just create an A record in the existing zone, something like testdev.yourdomain.com . Creating arbitrary host names doesn't work across a network.
If it's a small number of machines, you can edit the %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\HOSTS file on all the machines, and put in an entry like
In order to map that name to that IP.
Fundamentally, you need to learn the fundamentals of name resolution. The rest is easy.
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You can access the site from other hosts on the same network by typing http://188.8.131.52:86 in their browser address bar if those hosts also use an ip address in the 114.12.34.x netblock. I suspect though that your network doesn't use ip addresses in the 114.12.34.x netblock and that you're referring to your ISP assigned ip address. Where are you assigning the ip address? On your router or directly on your web server?