Domain Name/DNS Resolution — How it Works?

Root DNS servers

  1. Each root DNS server maintains a list of IP addresses of top-level DNS servers.
  2. By visiting a top-level DNS server, the system receives the target authoritative DNS server’s IP address.
  3. Finally, the authoritative DNS server returns the IP address of the domain we are looking for.
  1. The root DNS server returns the IP address of the top-level DNS server maintaining the .com domains.
  2. Then, by visiting the .com top-level DNS server, the system finds the authoritative DNS server's IP address.
  3. Next, the authoritative DNS server returns the IP address of
  4. Lastly, our browser can send a request to the server for the homepage of the Medium site.

Public DNS servers

Local DNS cache

Put all together

Pros and cons of the process


  • The domain name resolution process is browser DNS cache → OS cache → hosts → public DNS servers → root DNS server → top-level DNS server → authoritative DNS server.
  • Using a domain name makes our life more comfortable. At the same time, it brings new security problems.





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