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What is DNS and what is it for?

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DNS, like other services that make the Internet work, can be a confusing term. However, if it were not for the DNS, surfing the web from one page to another would be an arduous task to do.

Currently, DNS is one of the pillars that make the Internet what it is and the reason why we can navigate from site to site without major complications. To learn more about the complex function of DNS, we interviewed Omar Garza Lopez, Customer Service Executive for Akky.

According to Omar, Internet services, such as websites, email, social media, and others, reside within computers. However, to get to these services, you must have the address they have within the network.

“These addresses can be difficult for us to understand or memorize. To facilitate this, a Domain Name System, or DNS, was created,” shares Omar.

IP addresses are made up of a set of numbers that can be seen like this: 12.34.56.78. So, memorizing them can be tricky. Fortunately, DNS servers have a database where the address of the computer on the network is related to its respective domain name. In other words, DNS serves as a name translator on the network.

“To explain it in practical terms, the database list says that if a user searches for the domain name ‘Akky.mx’, the user should be directed to the computer that has Akky’s information,” Garza exemplifies.

“Akky’s address can be an IP address, made up of a series of numbers, but the user can just search for the domain name to be directed to the indicated IP address, without having to memorize the numbers,” he added.

The DNS server is made up of three different functions:

  1. DNS client: it is installed on our devices and makes name resolution requests to DNS servers.
  2. DNS server (host): the servers answer the requests and resolve the supported names of a database.
  3. Authority Zones: they are servers or groups of them that are assigned to solve a set of specific domains (as NIC México has assigned .mx).

Every time a new website is entered in the browser, the Operating System makes a request to the DNS server to search for the address under the domain name you want to reach. Once the request is made, the DNS server makes a request to the authority zones where the domain resides. Finally, the server in charge in the authority zone delivers an address to the DNS and it translates it for the client.

It may sound very complicated; however, the process takes place in microseconds.

Finally, if you change your Internet host, you can change the DNS server too. In order to fully understand the Internet (if possible), it is important to understand the processes that take place behind the screen and behind every click.

After all, the Internet would not be what we know if DNS servers didn’t exist.