Tag Archives: DNS

How the domain name system works: the big domain glossary part 2

Why does a website appear after entering the domain? Where are domain and website information saved and how are they connected? In this article, our big domain glossary tells you everything you need to know about the domain name system (DNS), root server and IP address.

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Category: Net Culture | Net World
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Get to know our experts – Thomas Keller

Get to know Thomas, our expert on #domains, #DNS, #SSL and #Digitalidentity

Our goal is to satisfy customers by offering a range of customized products which meet their respective needs. Our product teams are therefore constantly working on developing and improving our portfolio. We’d like to introduce these experts personally on the 1&1 blog. Here, you’ll find insights into the IT industry and useful tips and tricks for our hosting products.

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Category: eBusiness | Products
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Wrap-up of this week’s top articles from the 1&1 Blog

Most Popular Blog Posts

To catch you up on this week’s most popular 1&1 blog posts, we talked about slideshow-based video for businesses, identified what WordPress users will see in 2015, explained how the Domain Name System works, shared secrets for online sales and announced our involvement in Joomla! Day Boston.

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Category: Blog Wrap-Ups
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How the Domain Name System Works

Verisign - DNS

This article was provided by Versign


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a central part of the Internet which, simply put, provides a way to find resources online. Anything connected to the Internet, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, websites, and now your car, refrigerator and countless other machines in the Internet of Things (IoT), has an Internet Protocol (IP) address made up of numbers. Your favorite website might have an IP address consisting of a set of numbers separated by periods like, but this is not always easy to remember. However, a domain name, such as “1and1.com,” is something people can recognize and remember. The DNS connects domain names with IP addresses, enabling people to use memorable domain names to navigate the Internet.

Let’s briefly explore the process that keeps more than 3 billion Internet users1 and 284 million domain names2 connected.

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Category: Net Culture
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What is ICANN?

The same way one would connect with someone else on the phone, Internet users need a distinctive name to contact each other online. An Internet address needs to be distinctive so computers can locate one another. The job of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is to coordinate these unique identifiers across the world.

ICANN was tasked with the technical organization of the Internet as a non-profit organization by the US Department of Commerce in 1998. Located in California, ICANN is responsible for the further development of the Domain Name System (DNS) and administration of IP addresses. Additionally, it supervises the operation of root name servers. Prior to ICANN, these tasks were conducted by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

Domain Name System

In contrast to phone numbers, we know most Internet addresses only as a name and not as a number. The numbers that serve as the basis for communication between computers – referred to as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses – are hard to remember. The DNS matches letters to an exact numerical series, and translates the requested domain into the matching IP address. The requests happen in the background for most users, and within very short timeframes. This way, Web users only need to remember the domain name, and not a longer number.

A Web address like www.1and1.com, for example, can be split into three labels. The top-level domain (TLD) – in this case .com – is for commercial websites and considered a generic TLD. There are also more than 240 country-coded TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .ca for Canada or .de for Germany. ICANN delegates registration to independent, country-specific organizations (registries). The registries or Network Information Center (NIC) in charge manage ccTLDS and are responsible for their operation and technical stability. ICANN is responsible for the approval of new TLDs, the introduction of which has been discussed, prepared, and coordinated for the past ten years.

IP addresses

IANA is one of the Internet’s oldest institutions, and responsible for the assignment of IP addresses since the founding of ICANN. As a department of ICANN, IANA assigns local IP registrations to Regional Internet Registries (RIR). Currently, there are five active regional registries worldwide which are responsible for assigning IP addresses in a certain part of the world.

Root Server

Without root name servers (root servers), the current Domain Name System would not work. Every computer connected to the Internet is assigned a name server, which translates a domain into an IP address. If a name server has not saved further information about a requested TLD, it forwards the request to an overriding root server where the name servers are determined. The root server’s zone (root zone) contains names and IP addresses of all name servers of the TLDs and is the basis of the DNS. The 13 root servers are operated by different institutions, however ICANN is responsible for their coordination.

ICANN is often referred to as “the government” of the Internet. However, it lacks responsibilities and financial means. Internet-related tasks such as content control, data protection and privacy are not part of ICANN’s responsibilities. Through supervision and coordination, ICANN enables computers in complex networks to find each other. Universal responsibility makes it possible to receive the same predictable results anywhere in the word. Without ICANN, the Internet could look and work completely different depending on a user’s location.

ICANN supervises the technical and administrative heart of the Internet and plays a key role in its design. It is also responsible for the biggest innovation regarding Internet addresses – the release of about 1,400 new top-level domains. If you’re interested in a new TLD, you can pre-reserve your ideal domain now at http://www.1and1.com/new-top-level-domains.

Photo Credit: ©istockphoto.com/crstrbrt

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Category: Net Culture
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Legal Aspects of Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing the right domain name for your website can be a difficult task. There are several aspects of the selection process that you need to evaluate: It must be a proper reflection of your brand and your website, it must be memorable, and ideally it must be available under the appropriate generic top-level domains (gTLDs). In addition, one area that new users might not be aware of is the legal aspect that comes along with domain selection. It is essential to think through all of the potential legal consequences to your new domain name, especially with new gTLDs coming out later this year.

Check Availability

When you have narrowed down the domain name you wish to register, the very first step in the process is to check its availability on the market. You might discover that the name is already in use from another party. Sometimes the best solution in that case is to simply choose another name. However, there may be an instance where someone has registered one of your trademarked products.

This tends to happen to more popular brand names, but let’s say, for example, you have trademarked the name, “ProductX.” Someone might try to register the domain name ProductX.com before you, and then wait for you to pay them to release it. This is referred to as “cyber squatting”, and it can be a complex legal issue. A list of popular domain name disputes in the past can be found here.

Check Trademarks

Let’s take a look at the other side of that previous point. When selecting your domain name, you want to make sure that you are not unknowingly infringing on someone else’s trademarked name, because it could get you into legal trouble. In addition to checking the availability of the name itself, you should also be checking if the name is trademarked. You don’t want to invest a lot of time in to developing your marketing around a specific domain only to be forced to change it later.

Trademark Your Product Names

If you’ve successfully passed the first two steps without any legal issues, you want to prevent any potential future problems by registering a trademark for all the product and brand names that you will be basing your domain name off of, if you have not done so already. In our previous example, you should go through the process of trademarking ProductX at the same time you register the ProductX.com domain name. This way, if someone were to try to use the ProductX name with a different TLD, you can regain control of your trademarked name.

Prevent Cybersquatting

The best form of defensive is a good offense. Proactively registering domain names in order to prevent others registering your trademark or product as a domain name is highly recommended. This will prevent most cases of cybersquatting. When you register the domain name for your business, you should have the option of registering that name with multiple gTLDs. So if you are trying to prevent any potential issues down the road, it would be best to not only register a .com, but also a .net, .org, or any of the new gTLDs that will be coming out later this year. We are certainly not recommending registering hundreds of domain names in all possible TLDs, but if your website and trademarks’ value is critical to your business, then a sensible protection strategy is highly recommended and can help avoid legal pitfalls in the future.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/zimmytws

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How the Domain Name System Works

If you’ve ever set up a website, you should be at least slightly familiar with the Domain Name System (DNS). We’ve discussed elements about domain names, such as www.1and1.com, in the past. DNS is the system that converts a domain name into an IP address, which allows computers to identify other computers and servers on the internet. An IP address is a numerical label assigned to any device attached to the network. So in other words, the DNS allows you to use the easy-to-remember domain name of a website instead of its actual address on the internet, and it figures out the rest. This process is referred to as DNS name resolution.

Domain Name Elements

To explain the specific elements of a domain name, we will use www.1and1.com as an example. As you may know, the last portion of this name – .com – represents the generic top-level domain (gTLD). Currently, some of the most common gTLDs are .com, .net, .org, etc. But as we have announced earlier this month, there will be many, many more gTLDs available later this year.

Underneath the top-level portion of the domain name, the next level down in our example is “1and1”. This refers to the specific organization of 1and1 below the .com gTLD. Sometimes, websites can have a hierarchy of sub-domains even below that, such as the Online Success Center’s sub-domain name of blog-network.1and1.com/blog-us. In that example, “success” is a sub-domain of “1and1”. The last element of a domain name (the one that is listed first, such as “www”) is the host name. This host name is a label assigned to any device connected to the network for identification.

Registering the Domain

As you can tell, the domain name process can be very complicated. Luckily, when it comes to registering a domain name there are registrars that have authority to register your domain name of choice for you. By using an official registrar, such as 1&1 Internet, the first thing you should do is check if your desired domain name is available. The registrar should display which gTLDs the domain name is available under, and provide you the option to register the name under one or more of them (.com, .org, .co, etc.).

Once you have registered your domain name, you should direct the registrar to point that name to the IP address where your website is hosted. To make this easier, you can also host your domain within the registrar’s own DNS configuration.


This is of course just a simplified overview of how the domain name system works, but hopefully it helps in your understanding of what your domain name actually means, and what happens “behind the scenes” when you visit a website. For more information, check out 1&1’s Help Center on this same topic.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/henrik5000

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Category: Net Culture
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