What is a DNS?
- by Susith Nonis
- in Domains
What is DNS?
We all use the internet nowadays, meaning that we have used the DNS or Domain Name System without even realizing it. DNS or Domain Name System acts as the phone book of the internet. In short it converts the human readable web addresses (domain name like www.1Gbits.com) to machine readable numbers. (IP address like 126.96.36.199). This system has been used for more than 30 years and is still in use today.
The computers, websites and all the devices connected to the internet have a unique code which is known as the IP address. There are two different types of IP addresses such as IPv4 (e.g. 172.16.234.4) and IPv6 (e.g. FE80::0202:B3FF:FE1E:8329). Even though this looks very complicated, using the internet is very simple for everyone thanks to the DNS server. The Domain Name System has a database of all the IP addresses and it connects the domain names we provide with the respective IP address.
There are 4 different servers which involve in loading a webpage;
DNS resolver – The DNS resolver acts like the delivery man who is responsible for taking the human readable text (domain name) to be translated into the machine-readable text (IP). Its function is to take all the requests from the user and deliver it to the Root name server. This is typically managed by the internet service provider (ISP).
Root name server – The root server (also known as root name server) takes the initiative to translate the readable texts into IP addresses. It also serves as a reference to other more specific locations. It can be thought as telling the delivery guy in which store his product is in.
TLD name server - The top-level domain server (TLD) can be thought of as a specific aisle in the store. This is the next step in finding the requested IP address based on the top-level domain name (www.google.com the top-level domain name is ‘com’)
Authoritative nameserver – This is the final step. It can be thought as finding the product from the aisle and if found, then returns to the user. If the authoritative nameserver has access to the requested record, then it will return to the DNS resolver which then sends the webpage to the user.
This seems to be a very complicated and time-consuming process but, it only takes less than a 100th of a second.