Why is there a difference between ping "localhost" and ping "local IP address"?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Using cmd and ping on Windows gave me the following results:

  • Pinging “localhost”:

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  • Pinging “” (local IP address):

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Aren’t both situations exactly the same?

I mean, I’m pinging the same interface, the same machine and the same address. Why do I get such different results?

EDIT: Here is my ipconfig /all screen:

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How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

You are not pinging the same interface, without any physical interfaces you still have a "local host".

Your localhost is used to refer to your computer from its "internal" IP, not from any "external" IPs of your computer. So, the ping packets don’t pass through any physical network interface; only through a virtual loop back interface which directly sends the packets from port to port without any physical hops.

You might still wonder why localhost is resolving to ::1, while traditionally we would expect it to resolve to the IPv4 address Note that .localhost is traditionally a TLD (see RFC 2606) which points back to the loop back IP address (for IPv4, see RFC 3330, especially

Looking up localhost using nslookup gives us:

nslookup localhost

Name:    localhost
Addresses:  ::1

Thus Windows prefers to use the IPv6 loop back IP address ::1 (see RFC 2373) as it is listed first.

Okay, so, where does it come from, let’s look at the hosts file.

type %WINDIR%\System32\Drivers\Etc\Hosts

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#       localhost
#       ::1             localhost

Hmm, we have to look at the DNS settings of Windows.

This KB article tells us about a setting that affects what Windows prefers, emphasized in bold:

  1. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry subkey:

  2. Double-click DisabledComponents to modify the DisabledComponents entry.

    Note: If the DisabledComponents entry is unavailable, you must create it. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    2. Type DisabledComponents, and then press ENTER.

    3. Double-click DisabledComponents.

  3. Type any one of the following values in the Value data: field to configure the IPv6 protocol to the desired state, and then click OK:

    • Type 0 to enable all IPv6 components. (Windows default setting)
    • Type 0xffffffff to disable all IPv6 components, except the IPv6 loopback interface. This value also configures Windows to prefer using Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) over IPv6 by modifying entries in the prefix policy table. For more information, see Source and Destination Address Selection.
    • Type 0x20 to prefer IPv4 over IPv6 by modifying entries in the prefix policy table.
    • Type 0x10 to disable IPv6 on all nontunnel interfaces (on both LAN and Point-to-Point Protocol [PPP] interfaces).
    • Type 0x01 to disable IPv6 on all tunnel interfaces. These include Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP), 6to4, and Teredo.
    • Type 0x11 to disable all IPv6 interfaces except for the IPv6 loopback interface.
  4. Restart the computer for this setting to take effect.

What is this prefix policy table?

netsh interface ipv6 show prefixpolicies (or prefixpolicy on earlier versions)

Precedence  Label  Prefix
----------  -----  --------------------------------
        50      0  ::1/128
        45     13  fc00::/7
        40      1  ::/0
        10      4  ::ffff:0:0/96
         7     14  2002::/16
         5      5  2001::/32
         1     11  fec0::/10
         1     12  3ffe::/16
         1     10  ::/96

This table decides what prefixes get precedence over other prefixes during DNS resolves.

Ah, so using that KB we could add entries here that denote that IPv4 has higher precedence than IPv6.

Note: There is no reason to override this behavior, unless you are experiencing compatibly problems. Changing this setting on our Windows Server broke our mail server, so it should be handled with care…

Method 2

The loopback interface exists independently of your Ethernet interface(s).

Even without the complication of IPv6 you’d have two distinct addresses.

Loopback IPv4 address :
Your Ethernet interface’s IPv4 address :

The loopback interface might well be in a different software layer, more remote from real hardware. I doubt it depends in any way on your specific Ethernet interface driver for example.

Method 3

Localhost and your IP address are not the same thing.

The localhost is a special software only IP Address, that is linked to your system. Localhost, or, is a loop back address. It always points to your system, and is only accessible from your computer. This routing occurs at the OS level, and definitely never leaves the NIC… So there is no chance for it to hit the network….

Pinging your own IP address is similar but it potentially involves the entire networking stack, since it needs to detect that it is your IP address, and route it correctly

The effect should be the same, but there can be differences.

For example, unplug your network cable. Ping your static IP address. You may get no route to host, or other errors. Now ping localhost or, and it will work.

Method 4

I realize from the screenshots this question isn’t about Linux, but it perhaps makes a useful “case in point”.

On that OS, if you ping one of your local adapter addresses, it is translated to the loopback device (special case hack). This means that the packets actually go to the loopback device (which has all the implications you might think: for instance from a firewalling point of view, those packets are coming in on the loopback interface and will match rules for that interface).

The device to which the IP is assigned will never see the packets. (This is good because it would not do the right thing with those packets: it would want to send the suckers out.)

However, if the interface which holds that IP should happen to go down, you’ve lost that connection. The mapping to loopback will stop working.

So in other words, it is a workable design to regard those local addresses to be aliases for the loopback device.

Code references:


Take a look at function ip_route_output_slow. This calls fib_lookup, and if this function returns the code RTN_LOCAL, dev_out is rewritten to loopback:


Method 5

It looks like the “Localhost” alias is resolving to the IPv6 loopback and when you explicitly use an IPv4 address obviously it doesn’t.

Method 6

@ebwhite is right about what.

Now, the why might be that you have Teredo set up (I can’t tell from your screenshot, piping it to a text file and pasting the whole output is better) – the behaviour of localhost being IPv6 is consistent with the systems on my IPv4 only network with teredo installed, but systems without it behave as you expect it to getting when you ping localhost. I’ve tested this with Windows XP and need to see what my Windows 7 systems do and update the question.

Generally, systems default to IPv6 if IPv6 is available so, your system is working as it should .

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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