What is DNS?

DNS or Domain Name System is what lets you (and other internet users) connect to websites. The primary intent of DNS is to convert Internet domain names and hostnames such as those in URLs from a Web browser - into IP addresses. Learn how DNS works.

DNS is like a directory of the Internet where easily readable internet domain names get converted into numerical internet protocol (IP) addresses. When we search for a website by inputting domain names, like C omodo.com, our web browsers interact with the internet through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

DNS plays a critical role in translating domain names (what we search for) into IP addresses so our web browsers can load Internet resources. DNS is crucial for locating and identifying websites and devices (computers, mobile devices) with the underlying network protocols.

All Web browsers and most other internet activity rely solely on Domain Name System (DNS) to quickly fetch the required information for the users.

DNS Mapping is the process by which access providers, enterprises, governments, universities and other organizations, assign ranges of IP addresses for their domains. It will provide the much-needed feature to map a website with an existing domain.

How DNS Works?

When you search for a domain name such as Comodo.com on your web browser, your web browser needs to find the IP address where Comodo.com domain is located. As soon as you enter your search query, your web browser will send your query to the operating system such as Windows or Mac or Android on which your device operates.

Each of those operating systems is configured to query certain DNS servers. Typically your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network administrator (in case of organizations) configures such DNS servers called Resolving Name Server.

The resolving name server exactly knows the location of root servers. It will locate the top-level DNS to send a query for Comodo.com.

Finally, the authoritative name server will give the exact IP address of Comodo.com. This information will come back to to the resolving name server, which caches that information and sends back an answer (answer to your query regarding Comodo.com) to your web browser. The result will be displayed on your browser where you will see Comodo home page.

What is DNS Server?

Now that you have learned what DNS is and how DNS works let's see what is a DNS server and its role in the DNS system

A DNS server is a class of naming server that maintains and processes Internet domain names and their associated information. Typically, a DNS server is a primary component of the Web that implements the Domain Name System protocol and provides domain name resolution services to Web hosts and clients on an IP-based network.

The ultimate purpose of the DNS server is to locate and deliver websites to the end users over the Internet or a private network. All DNS servers are developed on standard hardware but run on specialized DNS software. DNS servers are always connected to the Internet or a network.

A DNS server stores various information such as the database of multiple domain names, Internet hosts, network names, DNS records and other associated data. The most fundamental role of a DNS server is to decode a domain name into its respective IP address so that the web browsers can display the website.

During the process of searching a domain name (domain name resolution query), DNS records are searched, and if that particular domain in question is found, the domain name record is returned.

If that domain name is not registered or added to that DNS server, the query is then passed on to other DNS servers until the domain name record is found. All this process takes only milliseconds to complete.

To better serve the end users, DNS servers cache some of the answers they receive for a set amount of time. This allows the DNS servers to respond more quickly to the same query. When the same query comes up the next time, DNS server will respond more quickly.

For example, if everyone in an organization searches for the same training video on a particular website, the local DNS server will have to resolve the domain name only once, after that it can serve all the other requests with its cache.

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