DNS (Domain Name Service): A Detailed, High-level Overview

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How’s that for a confuding title?  In a recent email discussion, a colleague compared the Decentralized Identifier framework to DNS …suggesting they were similar.  I cautiously tended to agree but felt I had an overly simplistic understanding of DNS at a protocol level.  That email discussion led me to learn more about the deeper details of how DNS actually works – and hence, this article.

On the surface, I think most people understand DNS to be a service that you can pass a domain name to and have it resolved to an IP address (in the familiar nnn.ooo.ppp.qqq format).

domain name => nnn.ooo.ppp.qqq

Examples:

  1. If you click on Google DNS Query for microsoft.com, you’ll get a list of IP addresses associated with the Microsoft’s corporate domain name microsoft.com.
  2. If you click on Google DNS Query for www.microsoft.com, you’ll get a list of IP addresses associated with the Microsoft’s corporate web site www.microsoft.com.

NOTE: The Google DNS Query page returns the DNS results in JSON format. This isn’t particular or specific to DNS. It’s just how the Google DNS Query page chooses to format and display the query results.

DNS is actually much more than a domain name to IP address mapping.  Read on…

Read more at Hyperonomy