How DNS Works Step By Step – Introduction to DNS

Computers on the internet talk to each other using a string of numbers usually known as internet protocol or IP addresses. IP addresses identify where a computer is located and helps guide information traveling between computers. While it’s easy for computers to communicate using IP addresses. We as humans don’t communicate easily using IP addresses. We use Domain Names System. DNS lookup for amazon.com is 176.32.103.205. That is an example of what DNS does. It’s essentially resolving a name typically a domain name to an IP address. The DNS lookup for google.com is 172.217.164.142.

How DNS works step by step

So, if I told you to go to Google’s IP address you probably don’t even remember what the IP address was. But you’ll remember what google.com is. So, DNS essentially resolves a human-readable name such as google.com or amazon.com to a machine-readable IP address. It’s much easier to remember a domain name once again like facebook.com or amazon.com rather than the IP address of a server.

How DNS works step by step

What is DNS in simple words?

DNS stands for a Domain Name System. DNS is the phonebook of the Internet. It resolves names to numbers, to be more specific it resolves domain names to IP addresses. So, if you type in a web address in your web browser, DNS will resolve the name to a number because the only thing computers know are numbers. DNS works like a phone book, when you want to find a number, you don’t look up the number first, you look up the name first, then it will give you the number.

What is DNS and its purpose?

To bridge the communication gap between computers and humans and make communication a lot easier, networking engineers developed DNS. For Example, if you wanted to go to a certain website you would open up a web browser type a domain name into your browser and the computer determines if it already has the domain’s related IP address in their memory. If it’s a domain that you’ve recently visited like say a newspaper you look at every day your browser may have stored the domain name and IP address in its memory. And can display the website in a split second. If the domain isn’t found in local memory your computer takes the search out to the Internet. Where it asks or queries a series of DNS servers if they have the domain name in their memory or a database.

The first DNS server that receives a query checks its memory for the domain name. If it doesn’t find a domain name in its memory it sends a query on to the next DNS server to see if it can help as soon as the domain name is found on a DNS server. That server returns the domain name and its IP address to the requesting DNS server and on down the line until it arrives back at your computer.

How DNS works step by step?

The DNS directory is distributed around the world to account for the millions of domain names listed and accessed every day. Because more than one person can search for the same website at the same time, a domain name can correspond to more than one IP address. For instance, if 100 people search for TechTarget.com at once, they’ll each receive a unique IP address from different servers. Otherwise, if a domain name only had one server and one IP address, those 100 people would all be waiting in line for their turn to access the site.

how DNS work step by step

Your browser uses your computer to communicate with the server where the domain name is hosted and requests any associated files. The host server returns the files which then display in your web browser our ability to use domain names to quickly and easily retrieve websites and files from the Internet is entirely dependent on this tightly integrated and tiered line of communication.

What is DNS is how does it works?

DNS is used to translate an actual name into these numbers but how does the domain name system work in a web browser. let’s say you enter the URL WWW example Dotcom as well as an example when you type WWW Example Dotcom in your address bar you will be looking for WWW Example Dotcom.

That end dot represents the root of the Internet’s namespace. Why is this so important because this is where it all begins. When you first search for WWW Example Dot com your browser and your operating system will first determine. If they know what the IP address is already, It could be configured on your computer or it could be in the cache memory.

How DNS works step by step

DNS was designed to work extremely fast and efficiently. It is an integral part of the internet. Once you understand this you can see the many different organizations that are responsible for a single DNS lookup. There is a resolving name server, the root name server, the TLD name servers, and the authoritative name servers. If anyone were to dramatically change or filter any part of the DNS process, it could lead to disaster.

DNS Server step by step working

And to further complicate it like in my example depending on where you are in the world a domain name may resolve to a different IP address for load balancing. So, if I’m in the UK and I ping google.com. I may get a different result from you if you are in the US or Singapore or somewhere else in the world. It’s much easier to remember the domain name than it is to remember an IP address. Machines use IP addresses and traffic is routed across the internet using IP addresses, not names.

DNS is a fundamental building block in today’s networks. Without DNS internet wouldn’t work well. Because very few of us are going to remember IP addresses. Now as an analogy DNS is like a telephone book taking a name converting it to a telephone number. In this case, taking a domain name and converting it to an IP address.

What problem does the DNS solve?

In the old days if I’d have to look up someone’s number in a book. And then I’d have to manually dial their telephone number. I don’t think any of us do that these days on a phone like an iPhone today. We’re not going to manually type a number and then dial it. We’re going to go to our contacts and search for a contact. And then just press on the contact to call the person. I mean a lot of us probably don’t even know our telephone numbers these days. We don’t know the telephone numbers of other people. Because we simply look them up in a directory on our phone.

Now, this is a local directory we can do something very similar on a PC. By using what’s called a hosts file. That is the most basic version of so-called DNS. It’s a local lookup so you could create your version of DNS locally on your PC. By editing the host file. Taking that a step further companies may have a local DNS server, that resolves names within the organization. But on the public Internet, we have distributed DNS systems. That allow us to resolve names such as Google and Facebook.

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