What Is DNS?

Getting down to business, one can define DNS as a database that connects host names to an IP address. An example of this is www.google.com linking to 173.194.115.64 which is just one of Google’s many IPs! But the link from a host name to an IP address is only a start, more features come into play.

The real term to use with this linking is called IP mapping. The mapping of IPs to names or names to IPs are called records and are stored in a database like we first mentioned above. A DNS database is distributed and store additional records from other global locations.

The database that DNS is stored on is distributed and has only as small amount of IP mappings. DNS contains all the pointing of direction for many types of services over the Internet and networks. Internal and External DNS routes packets and users all day long and all over the world.

If this all sounds highly technical, it is! A DNS record does not at first appear to do very much, but it is extremely important to the routing of traffic for websites and email messages.

An underlying service is what the Domain Name Service is and the Internet, email, and even your posts on social media all rely on it to deliver the right information. If DNS didn’t exist, you would be trying to remember an IP address instead of a domain name every time you wanted to visit your favorite website.

But websites and email are not the only things that depend on DNS to operate. Virtual databases, instant messaging, online games, software, and peer to peer file sharing use the Domain Name Service too!

Are you ready for the next step and learn how a DNS lookup works? Read our article about how a DNS lookup works and what a Domain Name Server does.

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