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Home / Internet Services / Domain Names / How does it work?

How does it work?

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DNS (the Domain Name System)

DNS, an abbreviation of the Domain Name System (or Service or Server), is a mechanism of the internet that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetical, they're easier to remember. The internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate to 198.105.232.4 .

It's a bit like a speed dial on your phone. You might click a button marked "Mother" but it gets translated into 01234 567890 to make the call. Domain names and IP addresses work in a similar manner.

Moving Domains and the Propagation Process

If you change your supplier of email or hosting services you will need to get your domain name pointed at a new IP address. This is a simple procedure but when the change is made a procedure called "propagation" comes into play. This is a process whereby the IP records of all the DNS servers in the world need to be updated with the new IP address your web name points at. It is a general mechanism of the internet and once it is started we have virtually no control of how long it takes to complete. This can take a few hours but it can drag on for 24 or even 48 hours. If you need to make such a change we will help you avoid the worst of any disruption that can occur.

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