Glossary keyword - DNS

DNS

The domain name system or DNS stores domain names and translates them into IP addresses. Users enter the domain names to access a website while devices are capable of reading only IP addresses. As for humans, it is not convenient to memorize long lines of IP, this is where a need for a DNS system emerges. It translates domain names (www.example.com) into the computer-readable IPs to give access to a website. 

How Does DNS Work?

The working mechanism of DNS is not visible to users. Every step happens behind the scenes and requires no further action from visitors except entering the domain name. There are four essential servers that map IPs with domain names and provide access to a website. Those are Recursor, Root, TLD, and Authoritative nameserver. 

The first destination of the request is the Recursor server. In simple words, it acts as a middleman. It receives the query from users and then sends a request to the following server- Root nameserver. When users make a query to a website that they have already visited, the Recursor immediately gives access without requesting to other servers. The reason is that it caches data when the site is opened. In this way, it eliminates unnecessary communication with other servers and opens websites more quickly. 

After the Recursor, the actual process of translation starts. DNS directory is in the form of a hierarchy which starts with Root nameserver. This server accepts the query from Recursor and directs it into the right TLD server based on the domain extension - .com, .org, .net, etc. after getting a response from the TLD server, Recursor sends a request to Authoritative domain which stores more specific information about the website. Lastly, it responds to Recursor that brings users to the webpage. Caching also works for every server in the translation process, which eliminates the need to send requests further. 

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