As a website owner, you may have heard of DNS, but you may not know what it means or how it works. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it is a critical component of the internet infrastructure that translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand.
In this article, we will explore what DNS is, how it works, and why it is essential for your website.
What is DNS?
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed database that maps domain names to IP addresses. Every device connected to the internet has an IP address. A unique numerical identifier that allows it to communicate with other devices on the network. However, IP addresses are difficult for people to remember. So, domain names were created as a way to make it easier to access websites.
When you type a domain name into your web browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server. Which then looks up the IP address associated with that domain name. Once the IP address is found, your computer can connect to the web server and load the website.
How does DNS work?
DNS operates using a hierarchical system of domain names and servers. The top-level domain names, such as “.com”, “.org”, and “.net”, are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Below the top-level domains are second-level domains, such as “google.com”, “amazon.com”, and “microsoft.com”.
Each domain is managed by a domain name registrar, which assigns a name server to the domain. The name server is responsible for storing the IP address associated with the domain name and responding to DNS queries.
The browser sends a request to a local DNS resolver, which is typically provided by the user’s ISP, when a user types a domain name into it. If the resolver has the IP address for the domain name in its cache, it returns the address to the user’s browser. If not, it will send a request to the root name server. Which will direct the query to the appropriate top-level domain name server.
After the top-level domain name server receives the query, it will route it to the correct second-level domain name server. This server will provide the IP address for the domain name. Which the resolver will store in its cache and pass back to the user’s browser.
Why is DNS important?
DNS is critical to the functioning of the internet because it enables users to access websites by domain name rather than IP address. Without it, users would need to remember the IP address of every website they want to visit. Which would be impractical and inconvenient.
DNS is also important for website owners. It allows them to change web hosting providers or move their website to a different server, without changing the domain name. When a website moved to a new server, the IP address associated with the domain name can be updated in the name server’s records. Also, DNS queries will be directed to the new server automatically.
DNS is a critical component of the internet infrastructure that enables users to access websites by domain name rather than IP address. It operates using a hierarchical system of domain names and servers. It is essential for website owners because it allows them to change web hosting providers or move their website to a different server without changing the domain name.
Understanding DNS is essential for anyone who owns or manages a website. As it can impact website performance and availability. By learning more, website owners can make informed decisions about web hosting providers, domain name registrars, and other aspects of website management.
At Maxibytes, DNS is handled by Google Cloud DNS service, which means stability, scalability, and 100% uptime.