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Part: V Appendices > The Domain Name System

The Domain Name System

Earlier in this appendix you learned that IP addresses are expressed in dotted-decimal notation because that is an easier numbering method to memorize than a string of binary digits. Likewise, another abstraction has been incorporated into the system called domain name system (DNS). Simply put, a DNS server is used to translate between a dotted-decimal IP address and a user-friendly name. For example, it is much easier to remember zira.twoinc.com than it is to remember 10.10.123.121. So, instead of entering an IP address when you surf the Web or use one of the TCP/IP troubleshooting utilities, you can instead enter the easier to remember computer name instead. It is much easier to remember zira.twoinc.com than the IP address.

A DNS server can be used to translate an IP address to a registered host computer name or for the reverse. In addition to storing records about host computer names, DNS servers also store other kinds of name translations such as popular URLs and services on the Internet. Although the actual mechanics behind how a DNS server operates can be quite complex, it is important to use one if you don't want to resort to using IP addresses for all your network communications.


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