Throughout the last few days, I’ve spoken about how the Internet works, then how websites work. It’s time to tackle an important part of this whole system – the Domain Name System.
This is one of those things that often slips under the radar, despite being very important. You see, without this little nifty system, your web browsing would be a lot harder.
I’m gonna sum up the most important parts you need to know about this.
Ready? Let’s go!
The DNS allows you to find any website you want, instantly
Put yourself in the shoes of a very annoyed taxi driver. Suppose one day, right at the closing time, a customer walks in the cab, and tells you simply “My house is downtown. Take me there please”.
You do as he says. However, once you reach downtown, he doesn’t say anything else. You have to manually drive him to every house, checking to see if he tells you it’s his or not, while he does whatever he wants in the backseat.
Nerve wrecking am I right? That’s basically browsing without the DNS.
You see, like I mentioned in my previous articles, the Internet is like a gigantic wire. And websites are stored in servers, each on a certain part of the wire. The place they’re located in is their IP address.
However, these addresses are long and would be a bit hard to memorize. Can you imagine yourself typing 188.8.131.52 every time you wanted to use Youtube? Why do that when the simply using “youtube.com” is that much easier?
This is where DNS comes in. You see, DNS is like a dictionary for your web browser – tell it (the browser) to go to www.google.com, and it checks that in the DNS, which will give it the right IP address, which it can use the fetch the website from the server.
There are many kinds of DNS servers
These DNS tasks are performed by other servers, throughout the Internet. For most of you, your ISP (which I talked about in a previous post) will handle these tasks. In fa...