Everything You Ever Needed to Know About DNS (But Didn’t Know What to Ask)
I remember back when I purchased my first hosting account (many, many years ago). I got the hosting specifically because I wanted to “redirect” a Blogger blog to a static domain name.
(An exact match domain name I dropped many years ago out of lack of interest, which I noted recently sold for over $100,000…. dammit!)
Setting up the Blogger blog redirect was my first introduction to the wonderful world of DNS, and I had no clue what I was doing. But, I’ve never been afraid of tweaking technology, so I dove right in and did all of the steps to get the setup right.
Or, might I say, I “stumbled” through the setup until it finally worked.
So, Exactly What is DNS?
Well, after years of “using” it, and learning how to tweak a few things here and there (lots of trial-and-error and Googling my questions), I’m still not quite sure.
Here’s what I know about DNS
I know that DNS stands for “Domain Name System” (or some people also say “Server” or “Service”).
I also know it is how domain names are eventually resolved in your browser. Imagine if you had to type in something like “http://10.192.55.359” every time you wanted to visit a sire like Facebook. That would be a chore.
I know that DNS is basically the equivalent of the Internet’s “Telephone Book”. And, I know that all kinds of computers contribute to the workload of making it work.
But, that’s pretty much about it. Whenever I have a real question about how to do something in my hosting account’s DNS options, I have to turn to someone else to provide real answers.
Finding the DNS Experts
The real expertise comes from a comprehensive web page – a complete document, really – I found at WebHostingGeeks.com. The title of the page is
Wow, is that exactly what I need, or what?
Here’s what I found on the page.
They’ve included sections about the history of DNS, including the first through third generations of the technology. (I bet you didn’t know we’re on “version 3”. I know I didn’t). There’s also some coverage of how the development teams work at improving DNS standards.
Next, you’re guided through the functionality of DNS, both for internet access and email delivery.
The main course, for a techie like me, comes next. It explains, in great detail, how everything is organized and accessed. This is where the “name” part really comes in and we eventually leave behind those annoying IP addresses.
Most people could stop at this point with a very good overview (probably more needed) of the DNS architecture. But, since I really like techie stuff, I continued on and devoured information about developments like new top level domain extensions (I kind of like “.pro”), security issues and DNS hacking, and a section on how to add records to the DNS file.
A couple things I really liked about this page/document, and why I bookmarked it, is the quick menu navigation and the glossary of common terms. Any time you think you need to go back and re-read something (it happens to me a lot), the table of contents tab lets you jump right to that section.
I highly recommend this page as a reference and learning tool. If you need comprehensive answers about the structure of DNS, you’ll find it here. Even if you just have a curiosity how your internet browser gets you around on the web, or how you’re email works (even for the spammers), the page is worth a look.
If I had a star rating system, this would definitely rate a 5 out of 5.
‘Til next time…