My question is similar to one posted [here][1]

But answers are not understandable to me. How can a host (say my laptop) learn about IP addresses of other devices (say my phone) on the same subnet. Only then my laptop can make ARP table because it can query for MAC address only if it has the ip address. [1]: How does a host know the ip addresses of other hosts on the same LAN?

  • Your question is really a duplicate of the one to which you refer. Unfortunately, questions about hosts/servers, applications, and protocols above OSI layer-4 are off-topic here.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


Traditionally, DNS is used to refer to known hosts - usually to servers as simple peers are of little interest.

There's also a large variety of discovery protocols that use multicast or broadcast to learn of neighboring nodes/services (LLDP, CDP, UPnP, Bonjour, ...), but there's no general standard.

Of course, you can also run an ARP sweep over your subnet to locate existing nodes/valid IP addresses.

  • So my windows-10 discovering a printer on the network is basically running one such proprietary Microsoft ARP sweep?
    Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 19:31
  • Many printer drivers include a proprietary protocol for printer discovery (something like Bonjour can also be used). However, these devices and protocols are off-topic here, see the help center.
    – Zac67
    Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 21:22

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