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How Internet Domain Names and DNS Relate With Each Other

Apr 21, 2008
It is a complex world, millions of domain names and thousands of internet users!

But have you ever wondered, how does the internet keeps track of all the millions of domain names that have been registered up to date?

Here is a hint! The way computers transmit information from one, to another is very identical to the way our postal system works to delivers letters and packages. I know! That is a sure subject for another day.

The World Wide Web is just what the name suggests, thousands of computers inter-connected with one another and amongst networks running across the globe. But those networks are meaningless without their end-nodes, otherwise known as computers. But again computers are also meaningless and worthless if they are not put into use by an end user to share information from one computer to another.

As I said earlier, it is indeed a complex world. In a system where there are billions of separate computers, there must be a solution or some kind of organization to harmonize the communication and transfer of information within this system. That is where the DNS, (the Domain Name System) comes in.

With the DNS system in place, every part of a network that is going to send or receive information is assigned an IP address that looks like this 209.131.36.158. Now an IP address is a numeric identifier that uniquely specifies a particular 'node', such as a computer, a router that directs traffic or other component.

For a moment just imagine that you had to memorize such a number each and every time you went online to all the different pages that you are used to surf each day! Of course you will agree that it will be difficult to remember and work with such numbers. Another aspect is that dealing with such numbers is not that attractive from a marketing perspective. Just imagine once more telling your prospective customers to visit 209.131.36.158 to see your latest deal!

So, someone somewhere, came up with a naming system, what we call now domain names.

This development made thing a bit more complicated. Naturally if you have a system that associates a unique IP address to a given name, then obvious you will need some way or a system to keeping track of all of that. Distinct parts of the system comprising of DNS Servers, Registrars, and other components work together to harmonize all transactions.

The Name Registrars.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and other international bodies are responsible for keeping track of domain names. Once someone registers their name, the information associated with that name eventually makes its way into a number of specialized databases stored inside DNS Servers.

A DNS Server.

A DNS server is the software/hardware that tracks and forwards the IP Address and the Domain Name from one place to the next. Depending on the connection involved there are a number of them between the remote computer that you want to share information with and your browser.

In summary therefore the DNS system is simple yet complex. The DNS server translate your domain name into an IP address and then requests and forwards your data from one computer to another and you the surfer is happy to receive, send and carry out all your internet transaction unaware of all the process taking place in the background.
About the Author
Joseph Nyamache started his ecommerce hosting site and provides a list of available domain names here
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