DNS in One Picture

How is a website found on the internet?

Kamran Ahmed
Dec 3, 2018 · 2 min read

DNS or Domain Name System is one of the fundamental blocks of the internet. As a developer, should have at-least the basic understanding of how it works. This article is a brief introduction to what is DNS and how it works.

Picture that has nothing to do with the article.

DNS at its simplest is like a phonebook on your mobile phone. Whenever you have to call one of your contacts, you can either dial their number from your memory or use their name which will then be used by your mobile phone to search their number in your phone book to call them. Every time you make a new friend, or your existing friend gets a mobile phone, you have to memorize their phone number or save it in your phonebook to be able to call them later on. DNS or Domain Name System, in a similar fashion, is a mechanism that allows you to browse websites on the internet. Just like your mobile phone does not know how to call without knowing the phone number, your browser does not know how to open a website just by the domain name; it needs to know the IP Address for the website to open. You can either type the IP Address to open, or provide the domain name and press enter which will then be used by your browser to find the IP address by going through several hoops. The picture below is the illustration of how your browser finds a website on the internet.

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