When you talk about what keeps billions of users connected online, DNS is the first thing that pops up in your mind. The Domain Name System(DNS) is a globally distributed directory that resolves domain names into IP addresses. Imagine if you have to remember long strings of numbers such as 188.8.131.52 instead of usupdates.com. They are hard to remember and don’t tell you anything about the website unless you enter them in a browser. In other words, DNS is like a phonebook of the Internet. If you know a person’s name but don’t know their telephone number, you can simply look it up in your phone book. DNS provides this same service. That’s exactly why DNS is critical for any organization that relies on the Web to connect to customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
Everything connected to the internet be it laptops, mobile phones, websites, tablets. They all are linked and connected online with a Internet Protocol (IP) address made up of numbers.
It is a central part of the internet and provides a way to match names of websites to the IP address for the website which is in numbers. Think of it as a translator that bridges both divides of the human and computer.
The DNS Network
Some of the crucial aspects of DNS that underpin its functionality:
- Distribution – DNS records are distributed over a vast network of connected servers,
- Record Maintenance – locating IP addresses connected to domain names and storing this data.
- Domain Namespace Hierarchy – The hierarchical structure enables a user to quickly find the correct server that hosts the records that they require.
How Does a DNS Server Work?
A DNS server starts its process once a domain name has been entered into an internet browser which are:
- DNS Resolver – It figures out to which IP address your domain name connects.
- Root Server – It returns the information to the DNS Resolver about the Top Level Domain (TLD) server containing the requested domain name. TLD is the .com or .org ending of the domain name.
- TLD Server – DNS Resolver then queries the TLD server to return the information about the Authoritative Name Server of the domain name.
- Authoritative Name Server – DNS Resolver finally queries the Authoritative Name Server to return the requested domain’s actual IP address.
The requested website will load in your internet browser once the DNS resolver finds the IP address. The process might seem long but it happens in a matter of seconds. This process occurs only when you access a domain for the first time. When you revisit the same site, it will bypass this whole process because the internet browser stores the IP information in the browser cache making it instantaneous.
For something so important to the internet, most users have little or no understanding of how DNS servers work. In fact, some people may never even release that it exists until it stops working. Here are few points explaining the importance of DNS:
a. Add network wide parental controls
With the help of DNS servers, you have the advantage of being able to block access to certain websites in your home or work space.
b. Avoid censorship
DNS servers can prove to be quite helpful if you are in an area where there is censorship to certain sites. A great way to bypass this is by changing the DNS servers that your computer uses because Net censorship is usually carried out by blocking access to particular sites through your ISP’s DNS.
c. Bypass content restrictions for geographical areas
DNS servers can help you bypass certain content restrictions which are usually allowed only to a specific region or country. Some DNS servers can trick the website into thinling that you are in a region where that particular content is allowed by simply replacing your IP address with one of theirs.
d. Increase internet security
Internet security has become a nightmare nowadays and it has become even more challenging for huge organizations as they are bigger targets for hacking. As many organizations handle sensitive data of clients, a specific DNS server can be used ensuring that all queries go through it. Companies are in a better position of protecting themselves against any external attacks by using DNS servers.
e. Faster web browsing
Experiencing slow internet speed are due to many factors. Some usually change their ISPs, which may turn out costly and might serve only half the way. Changing DNS servers has led to a considerable change in speed in many cases. With technology improving on a daily basis, there are tools available on the internet which not only check if your DNS server is up to speed but also recommends servers that you can possibly use in the future.
No doubt, DNS is an important tool that has a major role in browsing the internet. Are you looking to set up your own domain/website and get it out there into the DNS? Why not get in touch with 28msec.com or check out our hosting options and see if the right domain name is available for your business!