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Anatomy of a DNS Request

When you type in a web page URL into your browser to pull a site the first thing the computer does is take that DNS hostname such as “” and translate it into an IP address.

In order to determine the IP address of the machine must first find out who has the authority to tell you what IP address is.

This job is handled by the Root Name Servers that tell the client what DNS server has authority over the domain name you wish to look up. Take a look at the following query performed on the A record for

How I am searching: Searching for A record at Got referral to M.GTLD-SERVERS.NET. (zone: com.) took 9 ms Searching for A record at M.GTLD-SERVERS.NET. Got referral to (zone: took 355 ms Searching for A record at Reports took 77 ms


Domain Type Class TTL Answer A IN 300

As you can see above the first thing it does it contact the root servers in this case it is “M.GTLD-SERVERS.NET”. M.GTLD-SERVERS.NET tells the client that the authoritative name server (meaning who has control of) for is or Then tells you that the IP for is Now that you machine knows the IP address for it can communicate directly to that web server and request the homepage.

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