A DNS or Domain Name Server is one of the most helpful tools utilized by internet users, though they are mostly unaware of it. As internet users, we only memorize or take note of a website’s name so we can visit the website whenever we need to. However, for your browser to display the website you are trying to reach, it has to go through a DNS first.
The DNS is where the domain names and their corresponding IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are stored. In a way, a DNS serves like a phonebook for websites. The reason your request has to go through a DNS first is due to the fact that machines do not use domain names to look up websites. Instead, they use IP addresses, which consist of 4 clusters of numbers between 0 and 255, separated by dots.
Although your internet service provider already has a DNS for you, you can still make use of alternative DNS service providers. You can find a free DNS list on the internet. Just do a quick search on your browser and you will find a lot of alternative DNS providers.
How is DNS Beneficial?
For internet users, a DNS is widely unappreciated. That said, here is a list of the important benefits of a DNS:
No Need To Memorize IP Addresses
As human beings, we tend to memorize words faster than we memorize numbers. Machines, on the other hand, seem to work better when they deal with numbers. Thankfully, a DNS serves as a bridge between machines and humans when browsing the internet.
People type in the website address of the page they wish to visit and the DNS looks up their list to find the IP address of the said website and connect your browser to it. This means you don’t need to memorize the IP address of your favorite websites. Knowing their domain name is enough to be able to browse the internet with ease.
Changing A Website Host Will Not Confuse Your Website Visitors
At some point, website owners sometimes have to change their website host for one reason or another. Although changing a website host usually means you also have to change your domain name, sometimes, you get to keep it. However, changing a host means you will need to change your IP address.
But since users don’t really need to memorize your IP address, changing hosts often means nothing to them. So despite changing your host and subsequently changing your IP address, your avid website visitors won’t be confused by the changes since your domain name will be the only thing that is required to access your website. A DNS takes care of matching the domain name to the correct IP address.
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Added Security While Browsing
DNS providers often have an extension feature that allows for safer browsing sessions. These features filter phishing sites, or cloned websites intended to fool users into harvesting their login details, malware sites, and other unsecured websites, so you are not exposed to the threats that come with visiting these type of websites.
If your browser points you to a questionable website, then your DNS often displays a warning on your browser screen that the website you are about to visit is not secure and it would be up to you whether you wish to continue or not.
This is a very important feature since many users have become victims of these types of websites. Especially with more companies handling very sensitive information like bank account numbers and other sensitive data going online, you must ensure that you have added security to be protected from phishing sites and other questionable websites.
Limiting Access To Other Content
The internet is such a huge community that offers very helpful information. However, it also has a lot of dark corners where unpleasant content or content inappropriate for younger users proliferate. For parents, this can be a huge problem, and they would want their curious children to be protected from these types of content or websites. Whether suspicious ads led to these types of websites or they specifically type it on the address bar, it is important that children stay protected. So this benefit is very helpful for parents who want to protect their children by restricting their access to websites that are not appropriate for them.
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Some DNS providers offer these filtering options. Although these sites will not be totally blocked, there will be a significant speed reduction when they try to access these age-inappropriate content or websites.
These are some of the important reasons why a DNS is an integral part of the internet browsing experience, even though internet users may not be completely aware of it.