How DNS evolved into a necessity for our society
The past, present and future of Domain Name System
Chances are you use the Internet a lot. And so does your neighbor, your boss, your mailman, your family members and your pet (OK, maybe not your pet.) But, did you know there would be no Internet if it weren’t for a magical thing called the Domain Name System (DNS)? It’s so important in today’s generation, a history lesson is in order. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it brief.
Where it all began
The foundation of the Internet was established in the 60s in the form of Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET, as it was known, and funded by the United States Department of Defense. ARPANET was used to connect PCs for commercial, science and military purposes, and it eventually would expand to include uses such as email communication.
The inventors did not have foresee its global growth, but their idea made an impact on the word! Instead of just a few PCs communicating with each other, Internet usage became what it is today—a necessity around the globe connecting millions of PCs, smartphones, tablets and more. A reliable system was needed to support this growth.
The Internet is made up of nearly unlimited websites or host names, such as www.example.com. Each host name is able to communicate with your Internet-enabled device with the help of an Internet protocol, or IP address. These IP addresses are numeric, such as 172.16.254.1, but who is going to remember that? Thanks to DNS, you can type www.example.com into your browser instead of the IP address. In turn, your device can communicate with others anywhere in the world, and do all the wonderful Internet things you enjoy.
OK, enough history. Let’s move on to why all this matters so much today.
DNS’ hero status is on the rise
At first, Internet users could check their email, visit web pages and not much else.
News alert: times have drastically changed.
Today, we use the Internet for so many activities that it has become a necessity in our daily lives. The DNS-powered Internet allows us to shop online, pay bills, and download software, music and games, to name a few.
As more and more services rely on the Internet, DNS is increasingly important. The rate in which various systems are using DNS is exponential. There are millions more today than there were even four years ago.
Consider the infamous cloud: companies and individuals can use it for just about anything. Entertainment (Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo), document sharing (Google Docs), web-based email, bookkeeping, file storage, social media, banking—they’re all possible via cloud-based programs, and DNS servers are a must to keep all of these services integrated.
There are also services such as GeoDNS that require DNS servers to keep up with the technology and perform optimally. GeoDNS, such as DNS Made Easy’s Global Traffic Director (GTD), is a service that allows our clients to define unique DNS queries by geographic region. This is helpful to network administrators as they can direct traffic to specific destinations, especially during high-traffic periods.
No one can predict what other services will be in demand as the Internet’s popularity reaches new heights. What we do know isDNS performance and uptime constantly become more vital. Dare we say our society would practically come to a screeching halt without DNS? We dare say. Now tell your fellow Internet-using buddies what makes your daily online habits possible.
Want to learn more about DNS? Check out our helpful videos here and here.