What Is DNS And What Are They For?

What Is DNS And What Are They For?

Sure you have heard of the term DNS, but do you know what exactly it is and why it is essential so that billions of Internet users can connect to the Internet daily and instantly? Learn keys about its operation in this post with which you will understand a little better how the Internet works.

What is DNS?

When we talk about the term DNS, we are referring to the acronym of Domain Name System in English and, therefore, to the concept of Domain Name Systems that we use every time we connect to the Internet and, thanks to which, we can connect to a web page without having to type a very long IP address.

In this way, when we talk about DNS, we refer to the translation of a numerical (or IP) address in the name of a domain, that is, what we use every day to access the server that hosts a web page in which we interested in browsing.

Within the DNS concept we can distinguish three elements that are going to be key when conducting an Internet search:

  • DNS Client: We are talking about the first phase of the search from our personal computer (client) where we carry out a search for a specific address on the web.
  • DNS server: They are the ones that answer this connection request from the different clients, either directly or through other servers enabled for it. Its response system is based on a tree structure that we will deal with later. The ultimate goal of our request is that the server we are going to show us its content. Within DNS servers we can find different types: Primary, secondary or slave, local
  • Zones of authority: We go into this tree structure and, specifically, we refer to a group of servers that have been assigned the resolution of a certain domain within the webspace (for example .org domains or .com domains). These servers are called TLDs (Top Level Domain). 

How does DNS work?

When explaining the operation of Domain Name Systems (DNS) we must bear in mind that we are talking about an immense tree structure that is activated the moment we type a web address on our computer and that it would include the following steps :

  • We type a web address that we want to access our computer
  • Our operating system contacts the DNS server to which it requests access to its content. We are talking about the root server.
  • This DNS server is directed to the authority area that has the .es domains assigned (in our case) or those that correspond to the extension that we have typed in the web address (TLD).
  • The server in charge of this authority area resolves the request and locates the IP address that corresponds to the domain name that we have typed. This response refers to the server on which that particular page is hosted.
  • This server that hosts the page we are looking for receives the request we have made and returns the information providing the IP address of the web we want to access.
  • Once all this process has taken place, communication is established with this IP address, and the data that allows viewing the content of this address, that is, the content of the web, begins to be exchanged.

This entire process occurs in milliseconds and, in this way, we can access a website and browse its content without having to establish a contact through the numerical code that identifies the IP address. And all this thanks to DNS.

In this process, it must be taken into account that our computer equipment usually stores the web addresses that we usually access.


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