Monday 16 March 2020


When DNS was not into existence, one had to download a Host file containing host names and their corresponding IP address. But with increase in number of hosts of internet, the size of host file also increased. This resulted in increased traffic on downloading this file. To solve this problem the DNS system was introduced.

Domain Name System helps to resolve the host name to an address. It uses a hierarchical naming scheme and distributed database of IP addresses and associated names

IP Address

IP address is a unique logical address assigned to a machine over the network. An IP address exhibits the following properties:

◉ IP address is the unique address assigned to each host present on Internet.

◉ IP address is 32 bits (4 bytes) long.

◉ IP address consists of two components: network component and host component.

Each of the 4 bytes is represented by a number from 0 to 255, separated with dots. For example

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) refers to a web address which uniquely identifies a document over the internet.

This document can be a web page, image, audio, video or anything else present on the web.

URL Types

There are two forms of URL as listed below:

◉ Absolute URL

◉ Relative URL

Absolute URL

Absolute URL is a complete address of a resource on the web. This completed address comprises of protocol used, server name, path name and file name.

For example http:// / internet_technology /index.htm. where:

◉ http is the protocol.

◉ is the server name.

◉ index.htm is the file name.

The protocol part tells the web browser how to handle the file. Similarly we have some other protocols also that can be used to create URL are:


◉ https

◉ Gopher

◉ mailto

◉ news

◉ Relative URL

Relative URL is a partial address of a webpage. Unlike absolute URL, the protocol and server part are omitted from relative URL.

Relative URLs are used for internal links i.e. to create links to file that are part of same website as the WebPages on which you are placing the link.

Difference between Absolute and Relative URL

Absolute URL Relative URL
Used to link web pages on different websites   Used to link web pages within the same website.
Difficult to manage.   Easy to Manage 
Changes when the server name or directory name changes   Remains same even of we change the server name or directory name. 
Take time to access   Comparatively faster to access. 

Domain Name System Architecture

The Domain name system comprises of Domain Names, Domain Name Space, Name Server that have been described below:

Domain Names

Domain Name is a symbolic string associated with an IP address. There are several domain names available; some of them are generic such as com, edu, gov, net etc, while some country level domain names such as au, in, za, us etc.

The following table shows the Generic Top-Level Domain names:

Domain Name Meaning 
Com  Commercial business
Edu  Education 
Gov  U.S. government agency 
Int  International entity 
Mil  U.S. military 
Net  Networking organization 
Org  Non profit organization 

The following table shows the Country top-level domain names:

Domain Name Meaning 
au  Australia
in  India 
cl  Chile 
fr  France 
us  United States
za  South Africa 
uk  United Kingdom 
jp  Japan 
es  Spain 
de  Germany 
ca Canada 
hk Hong Kong

Domain Name Space

The domain name space refers a hierarchy in the internet naming structure. This hierarchy has multiple levels (from 0 to 127), with a root at the top. The following diagram shows the domain name space hierarchy:

Internet Domain Name System

In the above diagram each subtree represents a domain. Each domain can be partitioned into sub domains and these can be further partitioned and so on.

Name Server

Name server contains the DNS database. This database comprises of various names and their corresponding IP addresses. Since it is not possible for a single server to maintain entire DNS database, therefore, the information is distributed among many DNS servers.

◉ Hierarchy of server is same as hierarchy of names.
◉ The entire name space is divided into the zones


Zone is collection of nodes (sub domains) under the main domain. The server maintains a database called zone file for every zone.

Internet Domain Name System

If the domain is not further divided into sub domains then domain and zone refers to the same thing.

The information about the nodes in the sub domain is stored in the servers at the lower levels however; the original server keeps reference to these lower levels of servers.

Types of Name Servers

Following are the three categories of Name Servers that manages the entire Domain Name System:

◉ Root Server

◉ Primary Server

◉ Secondary Server

Root Server

Root Server is the top level server which consists of the entire DNS tree. It does not contain the information about domains but delegates the authority to the other server

Primary Servers

Primary Server stores a file about its zone. It has authority to create, maintain, and update the zone file.

Secondary Server

Secondary Server transfers complete information about a zone from another server which may be primary or secondary server. The secondary server does not have authority to create or update a zone file.

DNS Working

DNS translates the domain name into IP address automatically. Following steps will take you through the steps included in domain resolution process:

◉ When we type into the browser, it asks the local DNS Server for its IP address.

Here the local DNS is at ISP end.

◉ When the local DNS does not find the IP address of requested domain name, it forwards the request to the root DNS server and again enquires about IP address of it.

◉ The root DNS server replies with delegation that I do not know the IP address of but know the IP address of DNS Server.

◉ The local DNS server then asks the com DNS Server the same question.

◉ The com DNS Server replies the same that it does not know the IP address of but knows the address of

◉ Then the local DNS asks the DNS server the same question.

◉ Then DNS server replies with IP address of

◉ Now, the local DNS sends the IP address of to the computer that sends the request.


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