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What is a Domain Name Server?

Domain name servers refer to Internet directories that record and keep track of the IP addresses associated with domain names. While you might have a list of your favorite websites that you visit daily and reach those sites via the URL you type into your web browser, your computer, phone or tablet will use a set number to reach that site. This number is the IP address, and your device will automatically translate that number into the proper URL to load the page you want to visit. Some actually refer to a DNS as a type of Internet phone book.

DNS Importance

A typical IP address consists of several numbers. There are usually two numbers, a period, two more numbers, a period, three numbers, another period and then two additional numbers. Each of those numbers refers to a different location or factor such as your Internet provider and your physical location. Netflix and other websites use special tools that block users from certain locations and identify their locations based on their IP addresses. Domain name servers are important because these servers let companies and Internet providers keep track of the addresses of users and allow them to perform reverse look ups.

Central Registry

According to Network Solutions, there is a central registry that maintains accurate and detailed records of all servers used by companies and Internet providers around the world. The registry not only keeps a running total of all servers used today, but it also automatically adjusts the information of each site and registry as needed. Internet providers can pull that information to find out more about customers using their services. In some cases, law enforcement may also gain records of that information when conducting criminal investigations.

Where to Find the Number

There are several ways that you can find the DNS number associated with a specific website. Several sites now let you enter a URL, click a button and instantly see the number connected to that site. You can also use the command prompt feature on your computer, which lets you trace a URL that you enter. If you’re curious about the IP address of your own computer, you can open your Network Connections, select the status of your connection and then click details to see the IP address. You’ll also notice the IP address of your computer listed on emails that you send from that computer, but keep in mind that the number changes based on your current location and Internet connection.

Registration Period

When you have the numeric address of a site, you can enter that number in your web browse instead of typing in a URL. Those who operate their own websites will receive a numeric code assigned to them that they can use to access or visit that site as well. Domain name servers will quickly update to include the new number given to that site. You generally have up to 36 hours after creating that site to change the number before it will appear in a DNS registry.

Related Resource: Continuous Data Protection

A DNS is a type of online phone book that records date relating to millions of websites. These registries give users the chance to search for data. Domain name servers update frequently to reflect changes made to those sites and to give users more accurate information.