What is a DNS?

A domain name system (DNS) takes a human-friendly internet address, such as Website.com, and translates it into a computer-friendly IP address a web browser can use to find and display a website. DNS is often described as the ‚ phone book of the internet that does the heavy lifting of remembering the ‚ phone number of a website so humans only have to know the name.


Here’s an example of how DNS works:

Let’s say you want to visit the website “www.example.com” in your web browser. When you enter the domain name into the browser’s address bar and press Enter, your device sends a DNS query to a DNS resolver (often provided by your Internet Service Provider or a third-party DNS service).

The DNS resolver checks its local cache to see if it already has the IP address for “www.example.com” stored. If not, it forwards the query to a DNS root server, which then directs it to the appropriate top-level domain (TLD) server responsible for “.com” domains.

The TLD server responds with the IP address of the authoritative nameserver for “example.com.” The resolver then queries the authoritative nameserver for “example.com,” which provides the IP address associated with “www.example.com.”

Finally, armed with the IP address, your device connects to the web server hosting “www.example.com,” the website is displayed in your browser.

In this example, DNS acts as the internet’s address book, translating human-readable domain names into the numerical IP addresses required for devices to communicate over the internet.

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