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Domain Name System

The Domain Name System or DNS is a system that stores information about host names and domain names (for example, example.com or example.com.ru) in a kind of distributed database on networks, such as the Internet. As described in RFC 2606, a number of domains such as "example.com, example.net, example.org, example.edu" for documentation purposes. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participants. Most importantly, it translates domain names meaningful to humans into the numerical (binary) identifiers associated with networking equipment for the purpose of locating and addressing these devices worldwide. An often used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the “phone book” for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, www.example.com.ru translates to 90.156.201.108. Another example, www.example.com translates to 192.0.32.10. Domain example.com resolve to a server managed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The Domain Name System makes it possible to assign domains to groups of Internet users in a meaningful way, independent of each user’s physical location. Because of this, World-Wide Web (WWW) hyperlinks and Internet contact information can remain consistent and constant even if the current Internet routing arrangements change or the participant uses a mobile device. Internet domain names are easier to remember than IP addresses such as 208.77.188.166 (IPv4) or 2001:db8:1f70::999:de8:7648:6e8 (IPv6). People take advantage of this when they recite meaningful URLs and e-mail addresses without having to know how the machine will actually locate them.

The Domain Name System distributes the responsibility of assigning domains and mapping those names to IP addresses by designating authoritative name servers for each domain. Authoritative name servers are assigned to be responsible for their particular domains, and in turn can assign other authoritative name servers for their sub-domains. This mechanism has made the DNS distributed, fault tolerant, and helped avoid the need for a single central register to be continually consulted and updated.

In general, the Domain Name System also stores other types of information, such as the list of mail servers that accept email for a given Internet domain. By providing a worldwide, distributed keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet.

Other identifiers such as RFID tags, UPC codes, International characters in email addresses and host names, and a variety of other identifiers could all potentially utilize DNS.

The Domain Name System also defines the technical underpinnings of the functionality of this database service. For this purpose it defines the DNS protocol, a detailed specification of the data structures and communication exchanges used in DNS, as part of the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). The DNS protocol was developed and defined in the early 1980s and published by the Internet Engineering Task Force.


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