Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking What Are the Forms of Network Names? Network names are text strings that refer to a computer network by Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated on December 13, 2019 PM Images / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email A network name is a text string that devices use to reference a particular computer network. These strings are separate from the names of individual devices and the addresses they use to identify each other. Network names take several different forms. SSID Wi-Fi networks support Service Set Identifier (SSID), a type of network name. Wi-Fi access points and clients are each assigned an SSID to identify one another. In common conversation, wireless network names typically refer to SSIDs. Wireless broadband routers and wireless access points establish wireless networks using SSIDs. At the time of their manufacture, these devices are configured with default SSIDs (network names) at the factory. Change the default name for your devices to prevent unauthorized access and other security problems. Windows Workgroups and Domains Microsoft Windows assigns computers to named workgroups to facilitate peer-to-peer networking. Alternatively, Windows domains segregate computers into named subnetworks. Windows workgroup and domain names are both set separately from the names of each computer and function independently from SSIDs. Clusters Another distinct form of network naming is used to identify computer clusters. For example, most server operating systems (for example, Microsoft Windows Server) support the independent naming of clusters. Clusters are sets of computers that work as a single system. Network vs. DNS Names of Computers IT professionals often refer to computer names that are maintained in the Domain Name System (DNS) as network names, even though these aren't technically names of networks. For example, a computer might be named TEELA and belong to the a.b.com domain. The DNS knows this computer as TEELA.a.b.com and advertises that name to other devices. Some people refer to this expanded DNS representation as the computer's network name.