What is DNS and How Does It Work?

DNS or Domain Name System is a system which connects user friendly domain names with their associated machine readable IP or Internet Protocol addresses. An easy way of thinking about the job of the DNS is like your smartphones' contact list, matching names with their associated phone numbers and email addresses. When someone enters the domain name on their device, the DNS looks up the associated IP address and connects them to the specific DNS server it is stored at to view the website.

How Does DNS Work?

The internet is an enormous network of computers, with each device connected to it given a unique IP address to help other computers find and identify it. The IP address is a group of numbers and full stops which look like this: 195.245.651.145. Because an IP address incredibly difficult to remember and type accurately, a domain name is used instead. 

All the Domain Name System or DNS does is translate those domain names into IP addresses and then points your device to where it should go. The matching IP address and domain name are then called a DNS record. 

Take a look at this four step diagram to see how this works in greater detail:

Nameservers and DNS Records

Nameservers are special servers which keep the DNS records of specific domain names. Nameservers are managed by the domain name registrar or the website hosting provider, which we are both.

A nameserver has its own address and can store huge quantities of DNS records and every domain name needs to have at least two nameservers (one is the primary server and the other a backup). It is by far the best to have both your website hosting and domain name managed by the same nameserver, which is why we recommend our customers host both with us. 

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Posted: Friday 22 January 2021