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Top Level Domains, Root Servers and Resolvers

The DNS is a remarkable database. It doesn’t perform its work alone, though. Things called Top Level Domains (TLDs) and root servers do a lot of the heavy lifting for the DNS. A Top Level Domain refers to the part of a domain name that comes after the period. For instance, the TLD of example.com is COM. While there’s an ever-expanding number of domain names, there’s a relatively static number of Top Level Domains; .com, .edu and .org are just a few key examples.
Specialized computers called root servers store the IP addresses of each Top Level Domain’s registries. Therefore, the first stop that the DNS makes when it resolves, or translates, a domain name is at its associated root server. From there, the requested domain name is sent along to a Domain Name Resolver, or DNR. Domain Name Resolvers, or resolvers, are located within individual Internet Service Providers and organizations. They respond to requests from root servers to find the necessary IP addresses. Since the root server already recognizes the .com, .edu or other part of the equation, it simply has to resolve the remainder of the request. It usually does this instantly, and the information is forwarded to the user’s PC.

The DNS is a remarkable database. It doesn’t perform its work alone, though. Things called Top Level Domains (TLDs) and root servers do a lot of the heavy lifting for the DNS. A Top Level Domain refers to the part of a domain name that comes after the period. For instance, the TLD of example.com is COM. While there’s an ever-expanding number of domain names, there’s a relatively static number of Top Level Domains; .com, .edu and .org are just a few key examples.
Specialized computers called root servers store the IP addresses of each Top Level Domain’s registries. Therefore, the first stop that the DNS makes when it resolves, or translates, a domain name is at its associated root server. From there, the requested domain name is sent along to a Domain Name Resolver, or DNR. Domain Name Resolvers, or resolvers, are located within individual Internet Service Providers and organizations. They respond to requests from root servers to find the necessary IP addresses. Since the root server already recognizes the .com, .edu or other part of the equation, it simply has to resolve the remainder of the request. It usually does this instantly, and the information is forwarded to the user’s PC.

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