The Basics Of DNS

If you own a website, you know that DNS exists, but do you know why it is so important?
Many Midphase clients see themselves somewhere in the middle of the technical genius scale – somewhere between “Linux is my middle name” and “Facebook who?” That’s why most of our products are designed for individuals with little to no technical experience.
If you have a website, you might have had to settle your DNS before getting started. You may have followed a guide from our helpful knowledgebase or contacted our technical support staff for assistance. This magic task allows your website to connect to the internet. But do you really know about the mystery behind DNS?
While acronyms seem intimidating, the concept of DNS is actually fairly simple. DNS stands for domain name systems, and is the link between your website and your visitors’ screens. Computers speak a language made up of numbers rather than words, and when you type a web address into your browser, DNS allows that web address to be translated into a string of numbers called an Internet Protocol address. Internet Protocol, or IP, encapsulates the rules and guidelines used to connect users to various websites. If you would like to check your own IP address, you can check it here. Your IP address is the specific identity for your computer.
Once your web browser has translated a domain name into an IP address, it will know exactly where you need to go. The only problem is that it may not know how to get there. Domain Name Systems are the key to unlocking the path from one place to another. Your web browser will send a request to the domain name system asking for a specific route to the requested IP address. Once the DNS has returned the request with directions, your web browser can then zip to that location for all text, links and images to create the website you have been looking for.
Sometimes, when the request for an IP address is denied because the DNS doesn’t know the path, domain name systems then reach out to other DNS servers to find the route to your final destination. Once another DNS responds to that request, your browser can follow the path designated.
The website then appears on your screen, and all of this is done in a matter of milliseconds. Quite amazing really. Your browser will also save a copy of the directions to that website in what is called a cache, so that the next time you request that specific IP address it will know the directions.  
That completes a brief explanation of how DNS works to connect you to websites and visitors to your own website. While the specifics of DNS can be a little more complicated, knowing the basics will get you started in your path to becoming a technological genius!

For the answers to additional questions regarding web hostings be sure to check out the Midphase knowledgebase at