Before DNS servers came into existence, a website could only be identified by machines through its host name. All of these host names were saved in one large file known as the hosts.txt. However, this method of managing host names became hard to maintain given the tremendous growth in computer networks during the period between 1970 and 1980.
DNS servers were the solution that everyone was waiting for thanks to the work done by Paul Mockapetris’ which cast light towards this direction.
Over the years the architecture and use of DNS servers has been extensively researched on and applied in order to enhance web security and fast web browsing. (Find out more about DNS here)
Here are some of the most interesting facts about DNS servers that you probably never knew about.
100 Million Registered Domain Names
According to Domain Tools Statistics, there are over 100 million domains registered in the whole world (and most of us probably visit 10 domains on a daily basis). Most of these domains are associated with businesses, small organizations and individuals. This pretty much shows how effective the use of DNS has been to the currently technological landscape.
30 Years Old
Many people usually think that DNS servers are a new invention that was created in the 21st century. However, DNS servers trace their roots back to November 1983 from two papers that were published by Paul Mockapetris. These papers were named RFC 882 and RFC 883. Since then, more work has been done in order to make DNS servers as effective and secure as they are today.
Started Off With 6 Original Top Level Domains
Top level domains refer to the .org or .com prefix of websites. Currently there are over 700 top level domains (with some having queer prefixes such as .soy). It’s even more interesting to note that the first top level domains to be implemented in the 80s were only 6. This six top level domains included; .com, .org, .biz, .mil, .net and .edu.
The influx in top level domains can be attributed to an ambitious goal set out by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in 2011. They embarked on a campaign of better mapping out domains according to their uses by releasing new top level domains.
Forward And Reverse DNS Lookups
Did you know that DNS not only convert host names to IP addresses, but can also convert IP addresses to domain names as well? The former is known as a forward DNS lookup whereas the latter is referred to as a reverse DNS lookup. While reverse DNS lookups are rarely used (who’s going to remember an IP address instead of a host name?), they usually help network administrators whenever they want to troubleshoot certain domain aspects by using utilities like ping.
Highly Targeted For Hacking Purposes
One major disadvantage of DNS is that it is highly targeted for hacking purposes. Many hackers usually try to gain access to the DNS server records of particular websites. If successful, they can be able to redirect users to their own sites where they can carry out phishing of user information or carry out other malware attacks.
By being able to understand how DNS servers work, you can be able to know how best to protect your devices and sites. Apart from it being highly targeted by hackers, DNS servers certainly have great advantages that can be leveraged for both personal and business usage.