Domain Name System

Domain names, websites, ip addresses, DNS, IPv4, and IPv6, what does it all mean?

All of the above has something to do with the Internet and it’s Domain Name System. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a pretty complicated system, but isn’t too complicated when viewed from a high level.

The internet would be lost without some sort of naming system. This system is a lot like how the US mail works or how the phone system works. Each house has an address, each phone has a phone number and each computer has an IP Address. When you send a letter in the mail or make a phone call the letter or call gets routed just like when you type a domain name into a web browser.

As you type a domain name, like columbus-ohio-web-designer.com, you are directed via the Domain Name System. The Domain Name System uses IP Addresses, which are a string of numbers. All computers have an IP Address much like how all phones have a phone number. For example, an IP Address includes a series of numbers, 192.0.34.65.

When you type the domain name into the browser and press enter, the domain name gets translated into the IP address, which is often referred to as “Resolving the domain name”. The system works because IP Addresses and domain names are unique. It’s for this reason the internet Domain Name System is such a great system. The system would fail without the uniqueness of the IP Addresses.

The original system (IPv4) is based on dot-decimal-notation (192.0.34.65) and was created in 1981.The new system is based on 4 groups of hexidecimal digits separated by colons (2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334) and was created in 1999. The IPv4 dot-decimal-notation supports 4.3×109 or just over 4 billion addresses and IPv6 supports 3.4×1038 or just over 340 undecillion addresses.

So, even with the addition of millions of phones, notepads, and other devices, we should be able to manage with IPv6 for several years!

Thanks for another great challenge P2PU.org!