Encyclopedia > Domain name

  Article Content


Redirected from Domain name

The Domain Name System, most often known as simply DNS, is a core feature of the Internet. It is a distributed database that handles the mapping between host names (domain names), which are more convenient for humans, and the numerical Internet addresses. That is, it acts much like a phone book, so you can "call" www.wikipedia.org instead of

DNS was first invented in 1983 by Paul Mockapetris; the original specifications are described in RFC 882. In 1987 RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 were published which updated the DNS specifcation and made RFC 882 and RFC 883 obsolete. Subsequent to that there have been quite a few RFCs published that propose various extensions to the core protocols.

DNS implements a hierarchical name space by allowing name service for parts of a name space to be "delegated" by a name server to subsidiary name-servers. DNS also provides additional information, such as alias names for systems, contact information, and which hosts act as mail hubs for groups of systems or domains.

The DNS system is run by various flavors of DNS software, including:

  • BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), the most commonly used namedaemon.
  • DJBDNS (Dan J Bernstein's DNS implementation)
  • MaraDNS
  • NSD (Name Server Daemon)

Any IP computer network can use DNS to implement its own private name system. However, the term "domain name" is most commonly used to refer to domain names implemented in the public Internet DNS system. This is based on thirteen "root servers" worldwide, all but three of which are in the United States of America. From these thirteen root servers, the rest of the Internet DNS name space is delegated to other DNS servers which serve names within specific parts of the DNS name space.

An owner of a domain name can be found by looking in the whois database, which is generally maintained by domain registrars.

The current way the main DNS system is controlled is often criticized. The most common problems pointed at are that it is abused by monopolies or near-monopolies such as VeriSign[?] Inc., and problems with assignment of top-level domains. Some also allege that many implementations of DNS server software fail to work gracefully with dynamically allocated IP addresses, although that is the failure of specific implementations and not failures of the protocol itself.

DNS uses TCP and UDP ports 53.

See also: ICANN, cybersquatting

External links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... 210s 220s 230s - 240s - 250s 260s 270s 280s 290s Years: 237 238 239 240 241 - 242 - 243 244 245 246 247 Events Patriarch Titus[?] succeeds Patriarch Eugenius I[?] as ...

This page was created in 39.2 ms