A CDE Definition
The common way a DNS server is configured to handle requests. The DNS server makes multiple requests to the various DNS servers on the Internet in order to wind up with the actual IP address of the website requested. If the DNS server is not set up as recursive, then each request made to a DNS server would go back to the client machine, which has to issue the next request until the IP address of the desired site is retrieved. See DNS.
(Domain Name System) The Internet's system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses. For example, when a Web address (URL) is typed into a browser, DNS servers return the IP address of the Web server associated with that name. In this made-up example, the DNS converts the URL www.company.com into the IP address 22.214.171.124. Without DNS, you would have to type the series of four numbers and dots into your browser to retrieve the website, which you actually can do. See IP address.
A Hierarchy of Servers
The DNS system is a hierarchy of duplicated database servers worldwide that begin with the "root servers" for the top-level domains (.com, .net, .org, etc.). The root servers point to the "authoritative" servers located in ISPs, as well as in large companies, that turn the names into IP addresses; the process known as "name resolution." Using our www.company.com example, COMPANY.COM is the domain name, and WWW is the hostname. The domain name is the organization's identity on the Web, and the hostname is the name of the Web server within that domain (see WWW). See DNS records, zone file, reverse DNS, recursive DNS, DDNS, HOSTS file, mDNS, ping, root server and WINS.
Getting a Web Page
Caching Speeds Up Delivery
Before/After Your Search Term
Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.