Using the Internet has become very friendly for average computer users and even people who have never operated a computer before. All it takes now is to turn on the computer, launch a web browser application and key in the website address to be taken to the homepage. Web addresses can be listed on other websites, publications, multimedia, and so many other places. Search engines make it even more accessible for people to visit these sites.
But what a lot of people don’t know are the things that are actively working behind the scene as soon as they hit the “Enter” key on their web browser to access the requested site. Because of how advanced web technology is these days, all of these things happen in just a short 5 second period so it isn’t obvious on what actually takes place.
The Background Process
Right when the request is made, it gets routed to a nameserver. That nameserver then routes the request to the DNS zone found on your server. The DNS zone is the main focus in this topic as it is the one that actually brings the page to your browser. This is just the summarized explanation of a rather complicated process. Understanding the role and definition of a DNS zone helps get a clearer view on what is going on. The information behind DNS zones greatly benefits those that are operating their own dedicated servers.
DNS Zone Information
The DNS zone or domain name server zone is a part of the global domain name system namespace. Each DNS zone represents administrative spaces of the DNS and may consist of a single domain or multiple domains and subdomains.
A DNS zone contains several types of information including an address field which is a very important element as it contains important address mapping information for IP address tracking.
It basically allows your browser to find the IP address that you are requesting. Once the nameserver is set and your domain name is assigned, the associated IP address will stay assigned even if the IP address is shared with other users.
Along with the address field, a nameserver for the domain is included as well. In order for the domain to function correctly, the nameserver must be equivalent to the one you previously assigned to your domain. If you are signed up with a web hosting company, you will notice that the web hosting provider supplies the necessary information to make the match possible. Unless you purchased your domain from the web hosting provider, you need to make sure that the nameserver information is accurately supplied to avoid any domain issues.
Significance of a DNS Zone
In the early days of the Internet, websites can only be viewed by typing in the IP address as each IP address is unique. This was not a major problem at first until so many other sites emerged and accessing these sites became increasingly difficult due to the fact that these IP addresses had to be memorized to reach the right destination.
DNS zones quickly took control of that by mapping these IP address to a domain name to make the website a lot easier to be accessed. However, the browser needs to understand these domain names so it can convert these names into IP addresses so the request can be processed. Websites can still be accessed by typing the website, but just about every web surfer prefers typing in the domain name whenever possible.
After you have finalized your web design, you too will get your website hosted in a good web hosting company and after your web design has been hosted, your website address will have its own unique IP address as well. Buying a domain name and properly setting it up will be a breeze if you know how DNS zones work.
There are other fields that are part of the DNS zone as well, but they are much more complicated and do not need to be configured by average users. It is best to familiarize yourself with these two basic fields that serve as important components of the DNS zone. This helps you deal with any problems that arise regarding domain propagation.