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A DNS lookup simply lists contact information for a domain or IP address. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most importantly, it translates domain names into the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of computer services and devices worldwide. The Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of most Internet services. The Domain Name System distributes the responsibility of assigning domain names and mapping those names to IP addresses by designating name servers for each domain. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name might translate to 198.115.475.4. The Domain Name System also specifies the technical functionality of the database service which is at its core. It defines the DNS protocol, a detailed specification of the data structures and data communication exchanges used in DNS, as part of the Internet Protocol Suite. When an application makes a request that requires a domain name lookup, such programs send a resolution request to the DNS resolver in the local operating system, which in turn handles the communications required. The DNS resolver will almost always have a cache containing recent lookups. If the cache can provide the answer to the request, the resolver will return the value in the cache to the program that made the request. If the cache does not contain the answer, the resolver will send the request to one or more designated DNS servers. In the case of most home users, the Internet service provider to which the machine connects will usually supply this DNS server. The server’s user will either have configured that server's address manually or allowed DHCP to set it. However, where systems administrators have configured systems to use their own DNS servers, their DNS resolvers point to separately maintained name servers of the organization. In any event, the name server thus queried will follow the process outlined above, until it either successfully finds a result or does not. It then returns its results to the DNS resolver; assuming it has found a result, the resolver duly caches that result for future use, and hands the result back to the software which initiated the request.