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IT Granules - DNS Lookup

What is DNS (Domain Name System)?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a crucial part of the internet infrastructure that translates human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses and vice versa. It plays a fundamental role in making it easier for users to access websites using domain names.

What is DNS Lookup?

DNS lookup is the process of translating domain names into IP addresses. It plays a crucial role in enabling communication between computers and websites or services on the internet.

When you enter a domain name into your web browser, such as example.com, the browser needs to know the corresponding IP address to establish a connection. It sends a DNS lookup request to a DNS server, which looks up the IP address associated with the domain name.

The DNS server checks its records and if it doesn't have the IP address cached, it contacts other DNS servers in a hierarchical manner until it finds the authoritative DNS server for that domain. The authoritative server provides the IP address, which is then returned to the browser.

Once the browser has the IP address, it can connect to the server hosting the website or service associated with the domain. This allows you to access websites, send emails, and use various internet services by simply entering domain names.


Domain Names: Domain names are human-readable addresses used to identify resources on the internet. They are organized in a hierarchical structure.

IP Addresses IP addresses are numeric identifiers assigned to devices on a network, uniquely identifying each device. DNS translates domain names into IP addresses.

DNS Resolution: DNS resolves domain names to IP addresses through a process involving recursive and authoritative DNS servers.

DNS Records Types: DNS records store various types of information. Common types include A (Address), AAAA (IPv6 Address), MX (Mail Exchange), CNAME (Canonical Name), TXT (Text), and PTR (Pointer).

Name Servers: Name servers store DNS records for specific domains. Authoritative name servers hold official records for a domain, and root name servers form the DNS hierarchy backbone.

TTL (Time-to-Live): TTL is a value in DNS records determining how long information can be cached by DNS resolvers. Lower TTL values mean faster updates.

DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions): DNSSEC enhances DNS security by adding cryptographic signatures to DNS data, preventing various types of attacks.

How DNS Works

When you enter a domain name in a web browser, DNS translates it into the corresponding IP address, allowing your device to connect to the desired server on the internet.

The DNS system involves a network of servers, including recursive servers that perform lookups on behalf of users and authoritative servers that store official records for specific domains.

Understanding DNS is essential for web developers, network administrators, and IT professionals involved in managing internet services.