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What is Domain Name Server (DNS) & How Does It Work ?

Published By Kumar Raj
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On May 5th, 2020
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

In the world of networking, computers don’t go by names like humans as it works on the binary system. Likewise, every Website has an IP address which is difficult to remember for a human. For this, there exists a concept of Domain Name System. In this write-up, the user will understand how a DNS server works in a detailed manner.

DNS is an acronym used for Domain Name System in computer networking. Originally, the purpose of DNS is to resolve website Domain Name into an equivalent IP address such as “www.google.com”(Domain name) to (IP address). When we talk about DNS, lots of questions come into the user’s mind.

  • What is the difference between Domain Name System and Domain Name Server?
  • What is the importance of Domain Name System?
  • How does Domain name translate an IP address?
  • How does DNS work step-by-step?
  • How to find the Domain Name System?

Through this article, you will get to know all the answers to these questions.

Topics to Be Covered

This comprehensive guide explains the following arenas;

  1. Difference Between Domain Name System and Domain Name Server
  2. How does a Domain Name System work?
  3. How to check the Domain Name System?
  4. Final Say

Let’s begin!

Domain Name System & Domain Name Server – What Does It Mean?

Domain Name System: It is an Internet system whose function is to translates alphabetic Domain Names into IP addresses.

Domain Name Server: DNS is a server that returns the IP address of a web server associated with that name.

Functions of Domain Name System

To bridge the communication gap between Computer & Humans, the Network Engineers develop DNS. It acts like a phone-book for the Internet. If you know a person’s name but do not know the mobile number, you can simply look it up on the phone-book. DNS provides the same service to the internet. When you visit any website, for eg. http://xyz.com on your computer, the request send it to DNS to retrieve the website’s IP address.

How Does Domain Name System (DNS) Works ?

When we visit a domain name such as xyz.com, then the computer follows a series of steps to convert the human-readable web address into a machine-readable IP address. This happens whenever u are using a domain name over the internet.

Let’s have a look at the Process:

1.Request for Information: The process starts when you search for a Domain Name, for example, xyz.com. The first thing computer looks for the corresponding IP address and whether the information is stored locally to your computer (which is recently retrieved).

2. Resolver Server: Resolver server is your ISP or Internet Service provider. When the Resolver receives the query, it will check and find the IP address of the specific Domain name (for eg. xyz.com). And if the Resolver does not find the information, then it sends it to the Root Server.

3. Root Name Server: If the Resolver server doesn’t have the information it sent the query to the root server. It is the first step to translate the hostname into IP addresses. Root servers are the top of the root of the DNS hierarchy. There are 13 sets of the root servers which are operated by 12 different organizations. Each set of these servers have their IP Address. So, when the Root Server receives the query for the IP Address for xyz.com, the root server is not going to know what the IP Address is. It will direct the resolver to the TLD for the .com domain.

4. TLD Name Server: The resolver will ask the TLD server for the IP Address. TLD stores the address information for Top Level Domain such as .com, .in, .org etc. This particular TLD server manages the .com domain which xyz.com is a part of. So when the TLD receives the query for an IP Address for xyz.com, it will direct the resolver to the next and final level.

5. Authoritative DNS Servers: Once again the resolver will ask the Authoritative Name Server for the IP Address of xyz.com. The Authoritative Name Server is responsible for knowing everything about the domain name which includes the IP Address. They are the final authority.

So when the Authoritative Name Server receives the query from the resolver, the name server will be expanded with the IP address for xyz.com. Finally, the resolver will tell your computer the IP Address of xyz.com and will retrieve the web pages of xyz.com.

Once it receives the IP Address, it will stores in the cache memory until it receives another query of a domain. And it does not have to go through all those steps again.

How to Know the Domain Name of a Website?

To check out what is the domain name of the website, follow the below steps.

Step1: Go to the command prompt.

Step 2: Then type nslookup & website name.

Eg: nslookup netforchoice.com

Step 3: Hit the Enter. You will get the IP address of the website as shown in the screenshot.


Final Say

For creating a Website, Domain name plays a very important role. So through this article, you may get a knowledge of What is Domain Name server and how it works in a detailed way. If you want a domain name, then go through the NetForChoice. It provides free domain name along with hosting solution such as Shared Web Hosting, Dedicated, VPS, and customized plans.