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 What is DNS?
Solution "DNS" stands for the "Domain Name System". Sometimes, this acronym is used to mean the "Domain Name Service".

A domain name is one of the familiar names that you type into your web browser, such as "www.powervps.com". These names are familiar and easy for a human to remember. When you type in one of these names into your web browser, your web browser attempts to connect to the website you specified. To make this connection, your web browser first needs to obtain the IP address of the target website.

An IP address is like a phone number for a computer. It takes the form of four numbers separated by periods (e.g. Every computer on the Internet has at least one of these IP addresses. For example, www.powervps.com uses

When you type "http://www.powervps.com" into your browser, your browser needs to look up the IP address of www.powervps.com. It needs a "directory service" to look up the IP address from the name, just as you would use the phone company's 411 service to look up someone's phone number from their name.

The Directory service that your computer uses to look up IP addresses from domain names is called the "Domain Name Service", or "DNS". When you type in "http://www.powervps.com" into your web browser, your machine contacts a DNS server, asking it to find the IP address for www.powervps.com. The DNS server then contacts other DNS servers on the Internet. These servers determine which DNS server is "authoritative" for www.powervps.com, and then ask one of the authoritative servers to answer the question: What is the IP address of www.powervps.com?

When we setup powervps.com we also setup two authoritative DNS servers. These DNS servers are the "authority" for any questions regarding the domain name to IP address mappings for powervps.com.

These authoritative name servers for www.powervps.com can also answer the following questions:

Which hosts are responsible for receiving the email for powervps.com (What are the MX records for powervps.com)?

Which name servers are authoritative for powervps.com (What are the NS records for powervps.com)? (You can also use Whois to determine this).

Convert a powervps.com domain name into an IP address.

They can convert an IP address into a domain name.

They can give you administrative information about the domain, such as the email address of the administrator of the domain. This is called a SOA (Start of Authority) Record. A "SOA Record" contains the email address of the administrator, the serial number of the zone, and several timeouts that are used to manage the powervps.com zone.

See setting up name servers for more information.

Article Details
Article ID: 56
Created On: Jan 23 2009 03:44 PM

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