Internet name to an IP address

A Domain Name Server (DNS) is a standardized system that relates an internet name (such as google.com, yahoo.com, GiantPile.com, and so on) to an IP address. When you type google.com in your browser’s address bar and hit enter, the DNS will translate your request to the corresponding IP address.

For the DNS to find the appropriate IP address of the remote computer that will process your request, your domain name in the address bar must be a valid domain name. Otherwise, you will get an error such as:

Cannot find server because DNS failed.

A domain name typically consists of these basic parts and in this order:

  • Machine name
  • Network name
  • Top-level domain name

Note the domain you type in the address bar must follow these different parts in the order listed above. Otherwise, the DNS will fail to find an appropriate IP address for your request. This is also true with the use of dots (or periods). Dots are used to separate the different parts of a domain name. Figure 1 shows you the basic parts of a internet name: images.google.com.

Basic parts of an internet name

Figure 1 — the basic parts of an internet name: machine name, network name, and top-level domain name

In figure 2, the process of DNS translation is shown in action. As the figure 2 shows, google.com is equivalent to the IP address 64.233.169.104. This means you can access Google’s home page using http://www.google.com or http://64.233.169.104.

Translating google.com to the corresponding IP address
Figure 2 — translating google.com to the corresponding IP address

Top-level domain (TLD)

The top-level domain name is an indication of a domain registrar’s organization. When a domain is registered (or when a website/internet name is made known to computers), the person registering the domain decides on the TLD suffix. There are basically six main choices for TLDs, as listed in table 1.

Table 1 top-level domain names
Domain name Organization type
.com Commercial
.com Commercial
.edu Education
.gov Government
.mil Military
.net Network (or network services)
.org Organization

There are also two-letter geographic-specific domain names, as listed in table 2.

Table 2 selected two-letter geographic-specific TLDs
Two-letter name Country
.atAustria
.auAustralia
.brBrazil
.chSwitzerland
.clChile
.cnChina
.deGermany
.dkDenmark
.esSpain
.euEuropean Union
.fiFinland
.frFrance
.gbUnited Kingdom
.hkHong Kong
.huHungary
.inIndia
.itItaly
.jpJapan
.krKorea
.mxMexico
.nlNetherlands
.noNorway
.nzNew Zealand
.ptPortugal
.seSweden
.sgSingapore
.ukUnited Kingdom
.usUnited States of America
Posted on 7/23/2007
53,094 views
by Raj Singh