For beginners: what is DNS?

SkyStra
Jun 24, 2019

DNS stands for Domain Name System.

What is this system exactly?

Well, it’s what connects a domain (otherwise called a domain name) to its web server.

The web server holds all of the website’s content & data.

Let’s put it with an easy to understand example:

You go on your browser and type in skystra.com, the Domain Name System will then call on the web server where the domain name (skystra.com) is hosted and pull up its data & content for you to see.

Put simply, the DNS simply matches website URLs with their web servers.

The process of retrieving the website’s information is what a Domain Name System (DNS) does!

That’s pretty much it, pretty easy isn’t it?

Let’s dig a bit deeper.

How DNS Simplifies Things

So, why does the DNS matter any way?

It makes searching for a website very easy for you.

Basically, every domain name has an assigned IP (Internet Protocol) address.

An IP Address always appears in the same numerical format, 123.3.123.12 (this is an example).

With DNS, you don’t have to type in this numerical IP addresses for each website you want to visit, you simply put the domain name, for example, skystra.com in your browser and hit go!

The DNS then jumps into action, connecting you to the correct IP address.

Imagine if you had to remember every IP address for every website you want to visit? Things would get pretty complicated!

Once again, let’s go with an easy to understand example :-),

Think of your cellphone’s contact list. Before, to call someone, you had to know their phone number, memorized and all. Now, you just tap on their name and your phone matches the contact with their phone number.

Similarly, DNS converts domain names into computer-readable numerical IP addresses. Therefore, you don’t have to memorize every website’s IP address in order to find them on the internet, you just put in the name. So, a DNS is like cellphone’s contact list!

How Does DNS Work?

Whenever you type a domain name in your browser, DNS does a name resolution that involves querying various Name Servers on the internet to figure out the website’s IP address to connect to it and pull up its data for you to see.

DNS works together with four other components to get you access to each website, which are a Domain Registrar, Name Servers, DNS Records, and the Web Host.

Let’s see what each of these four mean 🙂 –

Domain Registrar

A Domain Registrar is where a domain name is stored & held. Skystra is a domain registrar for many types of domain name extensions (.com, .org, .net, etc.) and we manage your DNS records for you.

Name Server

Name Servers are configured to store your DNS records on the internet. If you register your domain name with Skystra, your Name Servers will be set up by us. If your domain name is registered somewhere else, you can always update your Name Servers to point to Skystra.

DNS Records

These records are what link your website with your Skystra cloud hosting account.

Below are examples of DNS records:

  • A records: Tells the internet which IP address your website exists on
  • CNAME records: This is a record that allows DNS redirects to happen, for example, subdomain.yourdomain.com is really yourdomain.com/subdomain
  • MX records: Used to tell email software where to receive your emails
  • TXT records: These records allow you to add a variety of DNS functions

Web Host

This is where your domain name is hosted. Skystra is a web host running on a premier cloud hosting infrastructure, the best of the best!

If you have any questions for us about DNS or just want to say hi, we’re always here to help you and love chatting.

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