The Domain Name System

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The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system for computers, services, or any other resources connected to the Internet. See How the Domain Name System Works for a brief overview of the DNS.

DNS components

  • Distributed Database: an archive of information about the computers in a network
  • Name Servers: contain address information about other computers on the network
  • Domain Name Resolvers do the work of translating domain names into numeric IP addresses based on the canonical database in the root zone.
  • The DNS Root Zone is the network of database servers that maintain the names and the numeric IP addresses of over 1500 gTLDs, ccTLDs, and IDNs.
  • Domains: logical groups of computers in a large network

Top-Level Domains

Challenges to Stability

Associated Bodies

ICANN exists to "facilitate the openness, interoperability, resilience, security and/or stability" of the Domain Name System (DNS).[1] Although ICANN as a whole is dedicated to the mission of preserving an open, interoperable, resilient, secure, and stable DNS, specific committees, organizations, and entities are directly focused on the technical operation of the DNS:

ICANN Bodies

Other Organizations