“How the Internet’s Magic Address Book (DNS) Works”

mudacodes
2 min readNov 2, 2023

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Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Hey there, curious minds! Have you ever wondered how the internet knows where to find all the cool websites you visit? It’s like magic! Well, it’s not really magic — it’s called DNS, which stands for Domain Name System. Today, I’m going to show you how DNS works in a super simple way so that even kids can understand.

Imagine you want to visit a website, like your favorite video game site or a funny cat meme page. You don’t have to remember a super long and complicated address like 123.456.789.10 to find it. That would be really hard, right? Instead, you just type in something like www.funnykittens.com, and the magic of DNS takes care of the rest.

  1. The “Internet Address Book”: Think of DNS as a giant address book for the internet. This address book is full of names and their matching addresses. These names are called domain names, like www.google.com, www.youtube.com, and so on. Every website you visit has one.
  2. Asking for Directions: When you type a domain name into your computer or device, it’s like asking for directions to a friend’s house. You don’t know the exact route, but you know their name. Your computer wants to know the actual address of the website you’re looking for.
  3. The DNS Resolvers: Your computer isn’t alone in this adventure. It needs help from special internet helpers called DNS resolvers. They’re like your trusty guides in a treasure hunt. These resolvers are part of your internet service provider (ISP), like your home’s internet company.
  4. Resolving the Mystery: Your computer asks the DNS resolver, “Hey, where can I find www.funnykittens.com?" The resolver takes this question and starts looking through its big address book. It knows where to find the information because it’s super smart.
  5. Finding the Treasure: The DNS resolver finds the address for www.funnykittens.com and tells your computer, “Aha! I found it. You need to go to 123.456.789.10.” Now, your computer knows where the website is located, just like having the map to your friend’s house.
  6. Enjoying the Website: With the website’s address, your computer can now connect to it and display all those adorable cat memes or video games you love. It’s like following the map and reaching your friend’s house to have fun!

So, the next time you’re surfing the web, remember that there’s no magic involved. It’s the DNS, your internet address book, and some helpful resolvers that make sure you can find your favorite websites easily. It’s like having a secret code that turns domain names into real internet addresses.

And that’s how DNS works, even kids can understand! It’s like a magical address book for the internet, helping you find your way to all the amazing things online. Happy surfing, little explorers! 🌐🚀🔍

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