What are Domains, Nameservers, and DNS and how do they work?
Domains, Nameservers, and DNS are part of a system used by the Intranet to access websites and other resources using a human friendly, easy to remember names called domains.


What is a domain?
A domain is a human friendly internet address for a website like a home address that is unique across the world. Each domain can have a registered owner like how your home address can show that you are the owner of your house or property.  A domain also has other relevent information such as a registrant’s address, phone number, and email address.

Domain: spiffywebteam.com
Registrant Contact: Don Bishop [encode_email email=”[email protected]” display=”([email protected])” method=”random”];
717.718.1208717.718.1208; 4 Kent Rd Ste 200, York, PA 17402, US
Nameserver: ns1v.datapipe.net

Example of domains




What do domains do?

Beyond letting everyone know who registered a domain, a domain’s main purpose is to point visiting computers to a domain’s nameservers.

What is a Nameserver?

A nameserver is computer that matches domains and sub-domains to an IP address.  A nameserver is like a phone book where a person’s name (domain) matches with a phone number (IP address).

Each one of these matches is called a DNS record.

Example of DNS records

IP Address




Sub Domains

What is a sub domain?

A sub domain is a domain under the main domain.  A sub domain is like a department of an organization (domain).

Examples of sub domains
mail.spiffywebteam.com – “mail” is the sub domain of “spiffywebteam.com”
news.google.com – “news” is the sub domain of “google.com”
blog.whitehouse.gov – “blog” is the sub domain of “whitehouse.gov”

IP Address

What is an IP address?
An IP address is a number that is assigned to a device on a computer network like the Internet.  It is comparative to a person’s social security number that identifies a person by a unique number.


What is a webserver?

A webserver hosts websites and sends website webpages to requesting computers.

How Domains, Nameservers, and DNS Work Together

If you type in spiffywebteam.com in your Internet browser, your computer looks up the spiffywebteam.com domain using the .com nameserver. The .com nameserver tells your computer what nameserver is assigned to the spiffywebteam.com domain.
Your computer then uses the spiffywebteam.com nameserver to look up spiffywebteam.com’s DNS record.  An IP address from the matching DNS record is sent back to your computer.
Your computer uses the IP address to retrieve the spiffywebteam.com website from the webserver that has been assigned that IP address.

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Source: DNN Affin inport