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1 - What is the Domain Name System, DNS?

2 - What are the components of a domain name?

3 - What is a registrar?

4 - What is a URL?

5 - What is hosting?

6 - What is an IP address?

7 - What is bandwidth?

8 - What are POP and SMTP?

9 - What is bandwidth?

10 - What does HTTP mean?

What is the Domain Name System, DNS? [1]

The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address - just like a telephone number - which is a string of four groups of numbers separated by a period called an "IP address" (IP stands for "Internet Protocol"). The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of the arcane IP address, which is difficult to remember. So, instead of typing to get to eXostream's website, you can type www.exostream.com. In essence, DNS is a "mnemonic" device that makes web addresses easier to remember.

It is rather impractical to have a central list of domain name/IP address correspondences, so, instead, the lists of domain names and IP addresses are distributed throughout the Internet in a hierarchy of authority. There is probably a DNS server within close geographic proximity to your access provider that maps the domain names in your Internet requests or forwards them to other servers in the Internet for mapping. This is also the reason why, when you register a domain name, your web site might be accessible to people in different geographic locations at different times, as the DNS server in their location is updated with the new entry.


What are the components of a domain name? [2]

Every domain name is made up of two components, a generic or global top-level domain, gTLD, and a second-level domain, SLD, which are separated by a period. For example, in exostream.com, "exostream" represents the second-level domain, while the ".com" represents the top-level domain. Together, exostream.com, is referred to as the second-level domain name.

There are also country code top-level domains called ccTLDs. These domain extensions represent a specific country for example, .us for the United States, .uk for the United Kingdom and .ca for Canada.

The following table lists various top-level domains and their common uses:

.com The most popular TLD most commonly used for commercial entities although anyone can register a .com domain.
.net Originally used for networking organizations such as ISPs and backbone providers. Today, anyone can register a .net domain.
.org Designed for miscellaneous organizations, including non-profit groups. Today, anyone can register a .org domain.
.biz Restricted for use by legitimate businesses.
.info Dedicated to the dissemination of information, anyone can register a .info domain.
.edu Restricted for use by educational organizations such as colleges and universities.
.gov Restricted for use by the government of the United States of America.


What is a registrar? [3]

A registrar is a company that actually registers domain names. When you register for a domain, the registrar will submit the technical information to a central directory known as the "registry," which provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site.


What is a URL? [4]

A URL or Universal Resource Locator is a unique identifier that distinguishes an address on the World Wide Web (www), along with the protocol by which the resource is accessed. The most common URL type is "http," which gives the Internet address of a www page, for example, http://www.exostream.com. Other URL types include "gopher," which provides the Internet address of a Gopher directory, and "ftp," which calls up the Internet address of an FTP resource. No two websites can have the same URL just like no two residencies can have the same phone number.


What is hosting? [5]

Hosting is the term used to refer to the housing of various items such as an application, database, web site, email or a domain. There are several types of hosting, including:

Co-location is a type of hosting where the hosting provider stores and maintains the customer's server. The customer owns the server hardware and software, but houses the equipment in the hosting providers Network Operations Center, NOC, taking advantage of the provider's facilities.
Dedicated Hosting Dedicated or managed hosting allows the customer to take advantage of a hosting provider's facilities, similar to co-location, however, the customer does not own the server hardware. The hosting provider assumes all the responsibility for the technical support and maintenance of the server.
Shared Hosting Dedicated or managed hosting allows the customer to take advantage of a hosting provider's facilities, similar to co-location, however, the customer does not own the server hardware. The hosting provider assumes all the responsibility for the technical support and maintenance of the server.
Virtual Hosting Shared hosting is similar to dedicated hosting in that the hosting provider owns the hardware stored in their NOC facility, however, the customer shares server space with many other clients, allowing the customer to experience a much lower cost of service. Instead of a customer buying their own server, they lease space on the hosting provider's server with other customers, much like renting an apartment in an apartment building with other residents.


What are an IP address? [6]

An IP address, (Internet Protocol address), is the standard way of identifying a computer that is connected to the Internet, much the way a telephone number identifies a telephone on a telephone network. The IP address is a 32-binary digit number that identifies each sender or receiver of information that is sent in packet across the Internet. When you request a web page or send an e-mail, your IP address is sent to the IP address associated with the domain name in the URL you requested or in the e-mail address you sent mail to. At the other end, the recipient can see your IP address and can respond by sending the web page you requested or another message using the IP address received.


What is bandwidth? [7]

The term "bandwidth" is used to refer to the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies available for network signals. The term is also used to describe the throughput capacity or data flow speed of a given network medium or protocol measured in Kilobits or Megabits per second.


What is POP and SMTP? [8]

Post Office Protocol: Post Office Protocol refers to the protocol used by e-mail software such as Outlook, Lotus Notes and Eudora get mail from a mail server. SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is the protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.


What is FTP? [9]

FTP, File Transfer Protocol, is a common method of transferring files between computers in different locations. An FTP client program (such as CuteFTP or WS-FTP) is required to access an FTP server.


What does HTTP mean? [10]

HTTP, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, is the Internet protocol used to transfer hypertext, or HTML web pages on the internet. This requires an HTTP client program, or web browser such as Internet Explorer, Netscape or Mosaic, which retrieves information from an HTTP server program.


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