What is a DNA?

Learn what a DNS (Domain Name System) is, how it works and which components play a role. The DNS is an essential Internet protocol.

What is a DNA?

The abbreviation DNS stands for Domain Name System and is an essential Internet protocol that converts domain names into IP addresses. Since people are much better at remembering names than numeric strings, the DNS was developed to make it easier to find websites on the Internet. Without the DNS, users would have to remember the corresponding IP address for each website they want to visit.

Functionality of the DNS

A DNS consists of a large number of DNS servers that are distributed around the world and act as a kind of telephone directory for the Internet. When a request is made, for example when a website is called up, the associated domain name is translated by this server into the corresponding IP address so that the web server can be found and the requested page displayed.

Name resolution process

The name resolution process begins by entering a domain name, for example www.example.com, in the address bar of the browser. The browser then asks the local DNS resolver whether the required IP address already exists. If not, the resolver forwards the request to one of the globally distributed root name servers. The root name servers are responsible for the top level of the domain structure, such as the ".com" in the example. The root name server then gives the resolver the address of an authoritative name server for the domain www.example.com. Finally, the resolver asks the authoritative name server for the IP address for the specified domain and receives the information it is looking for.

Important components in DNS

  • Domain name: An easily readable, unique string that represents the Internet resource. For example: www.example.com.
  • TLD (Top-Level Domain): The highest level in the domain structure, for example .com, .org, .net and so on.
  • Nameserver: A server or network of servers that handle DNS requests and return the IP addresses of the requested domain names.
  • DNS resolver: A server that receives requests from Internet users and searches for the associated IP addresses to forward the request.


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a basic Internet protocol that converts domain names into their corresponding IP addresses to make it easier to find websites on the Internet. Consisting of a series of servers distributed around the world, the DNS allows users to access websites by their domain names instead of having to remember the numerical IP addresses.

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