As we navigate the internet, we often come across domain names in the URLs of websites we visit. But have you ever stopped to wonder how domain names work? In this post, we’ll explore the basics of domain names and how they function.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a unique identifier for a website on the internet. It is essentially the address that you type into your web browser to access a particular website. For example, google.com is the domain name for the popular search engine.
How do domain names work?
Every website on the internet has a unique IP address, which is a numerical code that identifies the server where the website is hosted. However, IP addresses can be difficult for humans to remember and use, which is where domain names come in.
When you type a domain name into your web browser, a series of behind-the-scenes actions take place to direct you to the website you want to visit. This process is known as Domain Name System (DNS) resolution.
DNS resolution begins with your computer sending a request to a DNS resolver, which is a specialized server that looks up the IP address associated with the domain name you entered. If the DNS resolver has the IP address in its cache, it returns the address to your computer, and your computer uses it to access the website.
If the DNS resolver doesn’t have the IP address in its cache, it sends a request to other DNS servers until it finds one that has the IP address. Once the DNS resolver has the IP address, it returns it to your computer, and your computer uses it to access the website.
Domain name registration
To use a domain name for your website, you need to register it with a domain name registrar. Registrars are companies that manage the reservation of domain names and their associated IP addresses.
When you register a domain name, you have to provide certain information, such as your name, contact details, and payment information. Once you’ve registered a domain name, you own the right to use it for a specified period, usually one to ten years.
In summary, domain names are a crucial part of how we access websites on the internet. They provide a user-friendly way to navigate the vast array of online content, and their underlying technology ensures that we can quickly and easily connect to the websites we want to visit. By understanding the basics of how domain names work, you can have a better appreciation of the technology that underpins our online lives.