The .local domain designation is part of a kludge that started with apple’s bonjour print configuration service. The idea was be able to locate printers on a LAN without needing to configure.
The protocol was called mDNS, which stands for multicast domain name service. The way it works is that when your enter a .local URL, your computer broadcasts a multicast message on the LAN for all devices, basically asking “anybody out there calls themselves IoTaWatt?”. IoTaWatt responds to that with a message saying “I do, and my local IP address is x.x.x.xl. So now your browser knows the IP address and can subsequently access directly.
Fast forward a few years from apples’s bonjour, and there was a wider effort to establish a standard for a similar but the same protocol. As I understand it, the effort was called zeroconf. I have not seen where it enjoyed adoption, but Microsoft put out their own called LLMNR.
IoTaWatt listens for multicast packets of both protocols. But lacking a standard, every device is different. So some work and some don’t. Apple devices all seem to work great using the bonjour service. Some Microsoft devices, including windows 10 devices, seem to work with LLMNR. Others just don’t. I could setup a lab with 100’s of computers and mobile devices, a few dozen common routers and systematically try to figure it out, also varying all of the versions of software that they run. Unfortunately I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars and unlimited time.
So here are a few suggestions to try to work within the limitations.
- Get an apple phone or tablet.
- Try using the protocol prefix “http://“ as in “http://IoTaWatt.local
- Try restarting your router and the IoTaWatt.
- Install bonjour on any non-apple device for which it is available.