Running an offline business successfully doesn’t mean it will directly succeed online. The Internet is a different realm. It’s vital to understand its rules, methods, and its DNS. It’s complex but key for your online strategy to be more effective. 

What is DNS? 

Domain Name System (DNS) is the infrastructure that makes the Internet experience for humans as simple as it is nowadays. Its functionality is vast, but to start, it has in its core the database with the existent domain names and their corresponding IP addresses.

Just to type a domain name for visiting it triggers an extensive DNS process. The domain name typed must be translated to a machine language, numbers (IP addresses). This translation is required for machines to communicate with each other. Once the IP address associated with the domain name requested is found, it’s sent to the user’s browser to successfully reach the site.

Before DNS was created, instead of typing an easy domain name as newsexample.com, its IP address should be entered, 76.156.211.23. It was a memory challenge! DNS gave humans an easy choice (domain names) and to machines a way to speak their own language (IP addresses).

What is the domain namespace?

The domain namespace is a hierarchical structure or system created to manage the DNS database. It’s also called DNS hierarchy. You can visualize it as an inverted tree. 

Root domain – It’s located at the top of the system, and it’s represented with the last dot on the right side: DomainNameExample.com.

Top-level domains (TLDs)  TLDs live below the root (.net, .gov, .com, .de, .uk, etc.).

Second level domain – Under the TLD, the name of the organization registered via registrar comes – DomainNameExample.com.

Subdomain – An extra segment of the domain name helpful for organizing the website clearer – News.DomainNameExample.com.

Types of DNS servers

Having the DNS hierarchy in mind, you will understand better the position of the different servers.

Root servers – They hold the root zone file. This file contains information about all the available TLDs. They respond to queries related to the TLD servers. Here the translation from domain names into numbers starts.

TLD nameservers –  These are the authoritative name servers for every existent TLD.

Authoritative DNS nameservers – They possess the original zone file. They are in charge of specific zones, not all of them. Every time they receive a query, they supply an authoritative response for proving data (DNS records).

Recursive DNS nameservers These servers save copies of the zone files and only for a specific period of time. Their objective is to look for the necessary DNS information to respond to queries.

What is a DNS lookup?

DNS lookup is an intense searching process that repeats millions of times per day.

A visitor enters a domain name on the browser. This last sends a query to a recursive DNS nameserver, asking for DNS information (DNS records, IP address the most common, and the one we will use for this example) to connect with the domain name the visitor typed.

The recursive nameserver will look for that information in its cache. If it’s there, it will respond with it the query. If it’s not anymore in its cache, it will ask for it to the root server. The root server will point to the corresponding TLD nameserver for the requested domain. Then, the recursive will ask that the TLD server point to the authoritative nameserver in charge. The recursive will obtain from this last server the IP address needed.

The recursive will finally provide this IP address to the browser for connecting to the domain name requested. 

It takes longer to explain this process than for it to happen!

Conclusion

DNS is vital for your website to work and to be easily accessed by your potential clients. Through a smart combination of its components, you can make different processes more agile. Your pocket will feel the benefits!