DNS: What Is It and How Does it Work?

DNS: What Is It and How Does it Work?

Domain Name System (DNS), is one of most important components of the World Wide Web (WWWW). This allows you to type a website address in your browser and see the right site on the screen.

It’s so quick that we take this as a given. To help you navigate fine websites, such as this one, however, an intricate set of processes are going on behind-the scenes!

What is dns and  does it work?

A few Internet Basics

The internet The network consists of many computers linked together using radio signals and/or network cables. Internet Protocol (IP), is the common thread that unites all these network technologies and devices.

The communication protocol is a set of rules that allow devices to communicate with each other. As long as the protocol is identical, any two devices, whether they are a smartphone, smart fridge or smartphone, can exchange information.

Some internet basics

Each device, known as an IP address in IP networks, is assigned a unique number. An IP address is necessary to make sure that packets of data are sent across the network’s networks reach their intended destination.

A public IP address is the name of your internet gateway device. This usually refers to a wireless router. Anyone can access it. Because IP addresses can be used as physical locations within a network, an IP address will also show your precise location. To access the Internet, however you do not need an IP address. DNS steps in and saves the day.

We are grateful for URLs

Internet addresses, such as https://www.online-tech-tips.com These addresses are also known as URLs, Uniform Resource Locators. Because they are often memorable, these addresses make it easy to remember. It is the text string you enter into your web browser to access that website.

Thank goodness for urls

The IP address of the computer hosting the site and any other content is what you see, it’s not the URL. A single URL may point to several IP addresses, since the website and related data can be hosted by multiple servers around the world.

DNS Servers Turn URLs Into IP Addresses

DNS servers are computers on networks that take the URLs you enter and compare them to a list of IP addresses in order to determine which IP address is related to the URL.

Dns servers turn urls into ip addresses

This is similar to looking up a number in a telephone book. After you have found the name of the individual and their initials, a number will be listed beside it. This number is what makes your phone ring, and it also acts as an IP address. It connects your computer to the website server you are looking for.

Step-by-Step How DNS Works

Let’s take a look at what happens when you click on a link, open your web browser and hit the Enter key.

  1. First, make sure your browser is able to check the DNS cache, DNS records are stored for previous requests. You don’t need to wait every time a DNS response is returned if you visit the same site repeatedly. Your computer’s host file will be checked by the browser. The Hosts file is a listing of URLs, along with the matching IP addresses. These hostnames are known as manual URLs. Your browser will only go to IP addresses listed in the Hosts files, which takes precedence over all other options.
  2. Your web browser will send a request for the DNS resolver if this information is not available locally. Most people call this a DNS nameserver. The DNS resolver, however, is only one part of the larger DNS system. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) usually manages the resolver.
Dns works step-by-step
  1. Let’s say that one of the ISP’s DNS resolvers, usually two or more, doesn’t contain the necessary information in its cache. If that happens, the ISP will have to transmit the request to the DNS root name servers. The root name server does not contain information regarding URLs or IP addresses. The root name server has only information on IP addresses and URLs. Instead it contains information on Top Level Domain (TLD), name servers, and redirects requests towards their locations. It is the top-level domain, which can be.com or.org as well as any other suffixes that you may see after a website address. If you are using a.com URL, then the TLD server for.com domains should be your next stop.
  2. TLD nameservers then provide the second level domain. It’s, for instance, the “googleā€¯ in Google.com. The DNS server forwards the DNS lookup request from the TLD server to that destination. It knows the IP address information for the subdomains of that second-level domain. This server can also be called the Authoritative Name Server. An authoritative DNS server receives the exact IP address from your browser, and then forwards the information back to the DNS provider that you first contacted.

This is quite a long journey. However, the time it takes to answer a DNS query can usually be a fraction of second or less.

DNS Could Change How You Use the Internet

All DNS resolvers may not be created equally. Some ISPs may manage DNS servers badly. Some ISPs may provide inadequate caches or slow hardware, not enough bandwidth, and buggy software.

Dns can change your internet experience

It can result in web pages that are slow to load or DNS errors. People often choose to move their DNS servers to different servers. Google, for example, has DNS servers running at 8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8.4.4. OpenDNS provides servers at 208.67.222.222 et 208.67.220.220. You have many other options than these, which offer many possibilities that web users may not even be aware of.

Picking the best DNS service is key to transforming your browser experience. You may find some that offer quicker and more reliable search results than your ISP. Other services might have additional features, such as the ability to block malicious websites.

Smart DNS Services

Smart DNS Services are an alternative to public DNS servers. They are typically paid subscription services that allow you to control your DNS requests in fine detail. These services are used often to bypass geographical restrictions.

A Smart DNS, however, can only redirect to servers in another country for the services that you select. It does not affect your rest of your internet browsing. Split-tunneling, which is a more complicated method to setup than smart DNS, can be used to achieve the same result as a VPN.

Reverse DNS Lookups

This DNS procedure is also known as “forward DNS lookup” and it’s the most common type of DNS request. It is also possible to do a reverse lookup. You can do this if you have the IP address for a server but don’t know what URL it is. If you only have the IP address for a server visible in network logs, but want to find out who it is associated with, this can prove useful.

Privacy and DNS

Public DNS servers are vulnerable to eavesdropping. The DNS service might also store logs that show which websites were requested. It means third parties could know which websites you have visited, and the times they were visited.

Dns and privacy

Although the DNS system wasn’t intended to be private in any way, privacy is a major concern for all internet users. These factors have led to the development of DNS Services Private . . While some servers are expensive, others, like Cloudflare offer private DNS servers for free. The servers do not keep logs, making it difficult for anyone to intercept DNS communications. The last important fact you need to know about DNS is this.

Hackers Could Use DNS To Attack You

DNS systems can also have dark sides. DNS Spoofing and DNS cache poisoning are two ways malicious actors could corrupt the DNS cache of your ISP. They can pretend to be the server and send fake DNS data back the resolver.

What this basically means is that your DNS lookup request can be sent to your computer and redirected via poisoned caching to a dangerous site. It’s impossible to avoid this. As such, you will need to depend on your internet security and be ready to take all warnings that an site’s certification may not be correct.

Hackers can use dns against you

Cloudflare’s major DNS service, Google, is highly recommended for cache poisoning. They are much less susceptible to being compromised by spoofing. DNS resolution still remains the most effective method to efficiently and quickly navigate the Internet. With all of the benefits that DNS offers, you should be ready to take on the hacking attacks.

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