NameServers and the Domain Name Service
Typing a URI (Internet Address) in a browser is like someone giving you a street address in another city in another country which would be almost impossible to find without a set of maps, or even better still, a GPS.
The DNS - Domain Name Service is a set of dynamically created maps of every Internet address on the Internet.
Via the DNS, you will be sent to the location (URI) you typed in your browser no matter where it is on the Internet - your ISP is involved in providing and maintaining a DNS Server that is again automagically and dynamically updated very frequently with current data from all the domain name registrars on the Internet - no mean task.
Although possible, it is not practicable nor advisable to have a DNS server on your own PC - best left to the current system that is reliable and tested.
You domain name registrar is heavily involved in this process and, without whom, no one would be able to find the address of the domain name you have just registered there - as you now know.
Here's a very simple explanation of how it all works:
1. You purchase your domain name (or acquire a free one) from a domain name registrar.
2. You then purchase, or otherwise obtain, a hosting account with a hosting service provider.
3. This hosting provider supplies you with, normally, 2 nameservers and their addresses:
ns1.nameserver.com - 184.108.40.206
ns2.nameserver.com - 220.127.116.11
4. You go back to your domain name registrar and enter these nameserver details where applicable, in your domain name control panel for example.
5. Your web site, after a short delay, will then be available and served to the Internet from your hosting provider.
Now, if we cut out the hosting provider and use XAMPP on your PC, then we have to replace the domain name service your hosting provider supplied, with an alternative method.
This can be done by specialist DNS providers on the Internet, and one of the Domain Name Services (DNS) that I use is called Zone Edit
- zoneedit.com, which specializes in providing DNS service for people who own their own domain names - the file that contains the details of the DNS for your domain name is called a Zone File.
(There are other DNS providers like freedns.org - no-ip.com, and a Google search will more than likely find many more.
Some will even provide a sub-domain for free if you don't own your own domain name.
Another great feature of this kind of service is the ability to use a dynamic IP if your ISP provides this instead of a static IP - with a feature to update this dynamic IP automagically as and when it changes
Once you have signed up for one of your 5 free accounts at Zone Edit
, you will be given those all important nameserver details that, once again, will have to be entered in the domain name registrar's applicable location.
(Most nowadays have a domain name control panel for this and the other configuration functions associated with a domain name
For example these are the nameservers for one of my accounts at Zone Edit:
Once these details have been established at your domain name registrar and you have given Zone Edit the current IP of the PC your XAMPP servers are running (you have started the Apache server
), then and only then, will I, or anybody else for that matter, be able to find your web site from the Internet typing http://www.yourdomainname.com
in a browser.
I hope this little post has been able to explain some of the mysteries surrounding the Domain Name Service and the need for nameservers - and of course your original question - Where do you get 'em?
Good luck with it and please post back if you manage to sort it all out and are successful in achieving what you set out to achieve.
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