What Is IP Address and DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

What Is IP Address and DNS Server?

An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves two main purposes: identifying the host or network interface and providing the location of the device in the network.

DNS, or Domain Name System, is a decentralized naming system for devices connected to the internet. It translates domain names (e.g., www.example.com) into IP addresses (e., that computers can understand.

Understanding IP Addresses

IP addresses are vital for communication between devices on a network. They consist of four sets of numbers, separated by periods (dots), such as 192.1. Each set can range from 0 to 255.

There are two types of IP addresses:

  • IPv4: This is the most common type of IP address and follows a 32-bit format, allowing approximately 4 billion unique addresses.
  • IPv6: With the increasing demand for more addresses, IPv6 was introduced. It follows a 128-bit format and allows an almost infinite number of unique addresses.

The Role of DNS Servers

DNS servers play a crucial role in translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses.

When you enter a URL into your web browser, it sends a request to a DNS server to find out the corresponding IP address associated with that domain name. The DNS server then returns the correct IP address so that your browser can establish a connection and load the requested webpage.

How DNS Resolving Works

The process of DNS resolving involves multiple steps:

  1. Local DNS Cache: Your device checks its local DNS cache to see if it has already stored the IP address for the requested domain. If it finds a match, it uses that IP address directly.
  2. Recursive DNS Servers: If the IP address is not found in the local cache, your device contacts a recursive DNS server assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The recursive server checks its cache for the requested IP address.
  3. Root DNS Servers: If the recursive server doesn’t have the IP address, it contacts a root DNS server. These servers maintain a database of all top-level domain names and their corresponding authoritative name servers.
  4. TLD (Top-Level Domain) Servers: The root DNS server directs the recursive server to a TLD server based on the requested domain extension (.com, .org, .net, etc.


  5. Authoritative Name Servers: The TLD server provides information about the authoritative name servers responsible for the specific domain. The recursive server then contacts one of these authoritative servers.
  6. Final Response: The authoritative name server responds with the correct IP address. This response is passed back through each level until it reaches your device’s recursive server and finally your device itself.

In conclusion, IP addresses and DNS servers are essential components of internet communication. IP addresses uniquely identify devices on a network, while DNS servers convert domain names into corresponding IP addresses for proper routing of data over the internet.

Note: Please keep in mind that this article provides a general overview of IP addresses and DNS servers. The technical details and implementation can vary based on specific network configurations.

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