September 29, 2020
4 min read
The DNS, short for Domain Name Server, is similar to a directory system that maps Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to domain names, and vice versa. This process helps browsers and users find corresponding websites online.
Every website is connected to an IP address that is denoted by a combination of numbers, such as “123.45.678.9”. These sequences are difficult for people to remember, so IP addresses are given a corresponding domain name, which is stored in the DNS.
The DNS is how users are able to find sources online. However, it is important to properly configure the DNS as it can be sensitive to fraudulent attacks.
The DNS server is the contact list of the Internet. It is responsible for finding the correct IP address when a site/domain name is typed into the URL.
The browser then uses the IP address to communicate with the origin server or CDN edge server to access the information on the website.
This is only possible with the machines that are dedicated to answering the DNS queries, the DNS server. It consists of four servers: recursive resolvers, root nameservers, TLD nameservers, and authoritative nameservers.
Note that the DNS cache stores every IP address a user visits to make the DNS process faster.
Here’s what the DNS servers looks like in action:
DNS hosting is a service that hosts your IP address on its name server. The DNS host is responsible for connecting your IP address with your domain name.
In contrast, the domain registrar is where you buy your domain name from.
A nameserver stores valid DNS records of a domain and is translates domain names into IP addresses.
Put simply, nameservers store the map to the domain name and the corresponding IP address.
This means that even if you change your web hosting provider or IP address, you can still keep your original domain name.
To set up a nameserver for a new domain or website, follow these steps:
DNS records store important information about domain names, such as IP addresses.
Below is a list of the most common types.
A Records are used to point the domain and/or subdomain to the corresponding IP address. However, they only point to IPv4 addresses.
The same as A Records, except for IPv6 addresses.
CNAME Records, short for canonical name records, store alias domain names so you can have multiple subdomains pointing to one IP address and one A Record. Useful if you have various subdomains.
TXT Records store text information for outside sources such as the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), used to protect email exchanges.
MX Records, short for mail exchanger, is the server in charge of receiving emails sent to your domain.