What Does DNS Stand For?

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It isn’t really as complex as it may seem, but DNS can be quite confusing for a non-technical person. For starters, imagine an index of books in a library that helps you select the books you need or a telephone directory to look up phone numbers. The Domain Name System or DNS essentially performs a similar function to help servers from around the world to find your website when someone is looking for it. It’s as simple as that. Where it starts getting complex is in how the DNS works and how all the servers around the world know how to reach your website.

Understanding DNS

To understand what DNS stands for, it is important to first understand what a domain IP address is, what are domain names and how both of these work.

To understand what DNS stands for, it is important to first understand what a domain IP address is, what are domain names and how both of these work.
Domain IP Addresses: Every website in the world is recognized by a unique string of one, two or three numbers separated by dots. This is called the IP address of the website and looks something like this: 123.456.78.00.  When someone registers a domain and hosts a website, a unique IP address is assigned to it. This is the address by which your website is recognized by all the servers around the world.

Domain Name: Can you imagine remembering a string of numbers for every website in the world, just because that is how a website is recognized? An IP address isn’t easy to remember. People are more likely to mistype numbers and it also does not allow you to associate your company name, branding or the industry you belong to with your website. This is why we have domain names. A domain name usually has two parts — the name and the extension, separated by a dot. YourSite.Com is an example of a domain name. A domain name is an easy to understand alias of your domain IP address. It allows you to register an easy to remember name for your website that would identify your website with your business, brand, primary product/service offering or industry.

What is DNS?

As explained above, while domain names are easy to understand and remember, computers and servers on the internet can only understand domain IP addresses and not domain names themselves. The DNS does the job of translating domain names into IP addresses for servers and domain IP addresses into domain names for people.

It does the job of the telephone directory or the index of books, helping computers and servers on the internet find the IP address of the domain name someone tries to access. If you were to change the server where your website is hosted, it would be similar to a change of address in the real world. With the DNS, you do not need to inform anyone that your website now has a new server. Updating its IP addresses is all that is needed. The once your new IP address is updated in the DNS, servers around the world would recognize your domain name by its new IP address. People can continue to use your domain name and do not even need to know that it is now on a different server.

Uses of the DNS

Domain names like YourSite.com are easier to remember. Thanks to the DNS, we can use friendly and easy to use names for our websites without having to worry about their domain IP address.

By extension, the DNS allows us to use our company name, branding or industry terms in our domain name, allowing people to associate websites with companies or industries.

The DNS makes site migration to a new server easy and eliminates the need to inform anyone of your website’s new location. All that is needed is to point your domain name to its new IP address.

A DNS server stores the information about IP addresses and their corresponding domain names and does the translation when a domain name is requested.
The DNS is essential for finding websites and is integral to the working of the internet as we know it today.


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