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What is DNS?

What is DNS? DNS translates the IP addresses to domain names and vice versa. In this article, we will explain how this process works while providing the basics about it.

20 Dec, 22 by Susith Nonis 7 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

The full form of DNS is Domain Name System which is used for translating the human-readable domain names to the computer-readable IP address. Hence it plays a major role for a website as it helps a visitor visit a website easily. In case you want to know more about DNS and how it works, then read this guide completely. We have mentioned all of the required details to understand DNS's importance and why it is important for a website. 

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 names like to machine-readable numbers. (IP address like This system has been used for more than 30 years and is still in use today.  This seems to be a very complicated and time-consuming process but it only takes less than 100th of a second.

The computers, websites, and devices connected to the internet have a unique code known as the IP address. There are two different types of IP addresses such as IPv4 (e.g., 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 four different servers which involve in loading a webpage:

  • DNS resolver: The DNS resolver acts like the delivery man 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 user requests and deliver them to the Root name server. It is typically managed by the internet service provider (ISP).
  • Root name server: The root server (also known as a 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 of as telling the delivery guy in which store his product.
  • TLD name server: The top-level domain server (TLD) can be considered a specific aisle in the store. It is the next step in finding the requested IP address based on the top-level domain name ( the top-level domain name is ‘com’)
  • Authoritative nameserver: This is the final step. It can be thought of 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.

There are three types of queries in DNS servers, and you can use the combination of these three queries to reduce the distance traveled for optimized processes in DNS resolutions. So here are the complete details on DNS queries: 

  • Recursive query: A DNS client needs that the DNS server must respond to the client according to the error messages or requested resource record in case a resolver is not able to find a record.
  • Iterative query: A DNS client provides administration to the DNS server for returning the best answer possible. In case the queried DNS server doesn't have an appropriate match for a query name, then it will return the referral to the DNS server authoritative for the domain namespace's lower level. A DNS client then makes a specific query to a referral address, and this process continues with the additional DNS server down that query chain until a timeout or error occurs. 
  • Non-recursive query:  This DNS query occurs when the DNS resolver client queries a specific DNS server for the record that it can access if it's authoritative for a specific record or a record present in its cache. Particularly, the DNS server will easily Cache the DNS record for preventing additional bandwidth usage and load on the upstream server. 

DNS resource record is a basic information element for any Domain Name system, so they are entries in a DNS database that offers information regarding hosts. All records store in the Zone Files at a DNS server, so these are some common DNS records: 

  • IP Version 6 Address records (AAAA): This type of record holds a specific hostname and corresponding IPv6 address.
  • Address Mapping records (A): These records hold a specific hostname and corresponding IPv4 address.
  • Canonical Name records (CNAME): These types of records are used for creating aliases of the domain name, and these can be used to alias the domain to the other domain.
  • Mail exchanger record (MX): These types of records specify a particular mail exchange server for a domain name and are used for the SMTP protocol to route emails for the correct email server.
  • Reverse-lookup Pointer records (PTR): These types of records are used for looking up domain names based upon the IP address.
  • Name Server records (NS): These types of records delegate a DNS Zone for using a particular Authoritative Name Server.
  • Certificate record (CERT): These types of records work to store encryption certificates like PKIX, PGP, etc.

The DNS resolution procedure includes the conversion procedure of hostname in the computer-friendly IP address.  Each device has a specific IP address, and this address is required for finding a particular device and it is similar to a street address used for finding a specific house. When users want to load a particular web page, the translation needs to occur between what a user opens in a web browser and the computer-friendly address required to locate the web page. 

To understand the procedure behind a DNS resolution, it is required to learn about distinct hardware components in which DNS queries are needed to get passed. For a web browser, a specific DNS lookup needs to be "behind the scenes," and it doesn't need any interaction from the computer of the user apart from an initial request.

So it was the complete description of DNS and different factors regarding this particular system. So DNS stands for Domain Name System, which easily converts the human-readable domain name into a computer-readable IP address. Please visit our official website and purchase services, as we provide dedicated servers, web hosting servers, VPS hosting, and many more if you like this guide. If you want to contact us, drop a mail at, and we will try to connect you as soon as possible. 

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Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.