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What is DNS and how it works?

written by: Rishi Prakash•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 6/30/2011

Domain Name Server (DNS) is the backbone of the Internet connectivity. However, this hidden, yet fascinating system, consists of the most gigantic databases on the planet. Learn more about it in this article.

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    What is DNS?

    In today’s modern and technologically advanced world, the Internet has been the biggest hub for everyone. And people all across the globe connect themselves through the websites. Have you ever thought how these websites work in the Internet? If your answer is a big no then here is a chance to learn about some technological aspects associated with websites and the Internet.

    Web designers first design the website and when it is published in the Internet it is made available to all web users in the world. When it is published online, there is a domain name system (DNS) that keeps the website running in the Internet. So, what is DNS? Well, it is a naming system for computers, services and other resources, which are actively taking part in the Internet. The domain name assigned to each participant when entered into the web browser is translated from Human-readable domain name into the machine-readable IP address (Internet Protocol), which the computer understands.

    When your website is registered, all the records associated with your domain (DNS) are kept on the hosting site. This record determines the location of your website in the Internet. For example, if you register a domain on the hosting site, say, – it points to the xyz because your domain name is parked there only. However, if a website is created and hosted on other site, the record of the DNS server has to be edited so that the record on xyz could be pointed to the correct DNS server hosting the website.

    Now, when you type the domain name on the web browser, it starts searching on the Internet to look for the exact domain server and get the alpha name to the selected IP address. Once it searches the exact IP address, your PC will start loading the web page onto your computer screen. On the other hand, if you know the IP address of a particular website, you can directly type the numerical digit on the address bar of the browser; it will load the same web page as before. But, it is not possible to remember IP addresses for different websites. The IP address generally looks like this: – the four numbers are called octets because the values can vary between 0 and 256.

    The Internet is very huge and the DNS server on the other hand is a unique system where millions of people request for domain names each day. It facilitates the ability of the Internet to search and locate a particular PC, which is connected to the Internet. This massive database is grouped with definite servers offering for diverse types of domain names. For example, in the US, the domain server will be .com, for UK, it is .uk and so on.

    So, when you enter a domain name, just remember that the DNS server is working for you in order to load the exact web page you are willing to browse. This is how the Internet system works – amazingly great!