What is a domain name?
This article was posted in: Domain Names
Such a simple question, but a lot of people who are new to the internet misunderstand this most basic of things.
Just a name
A domain name is exactly what is says on the tin. It is a name - a reference. Nothing more, nothing less. I
It's a bit like registering a trademark. The trademark has a registered owner. By looking up the trademark at the patent office you can find out the address of the company who owns it. In the same way, computers interrogate the DNS (Domain Name System) to determine the Internet Address (IP Address) of the computer that represents the domain name.
Clearly, if you sold the company name to someone, that doesn't necessarily include the company itself - the ASSETS of the company are separate from it's name. In the same way, a domain name doesn't include the website or email addresses that are associated with it.
So, when yo utransfer a domain from one owner to another (i.e. if you sell your domain name to someone else) - or you transfer a domain from one registrar to another (i.e. if you transfer your domain from another hosting company to us), then you still have to think about moving your website and email addresses because they are separate.
Who regulates domains?
Domain names are managed at the highest level by a small number of agencies around the world (all .uk domain names are regulated by Nominet, for example). A bit like the way DVLA in Swansea manages car registration numbers. Then, people further down the chain, like Krystal are authorised to act as registrars. We take your money and then pay to register your domain with the registration authorities.
What does it do?
When someone types in your website address http://mywebsite.com, how do they get your website?
Well, part of the service we provide includes telling the world who looks after the services that are associated with your domain name. This is done via something called a nameserver. Krystal currently operate two nameservers, called ns1.krystal.co.uk and ns2.krystal.co.uk
Everything is a number
Every service on the internet, including email and web servers, are identified by a numeric IP Address. These addresses are awkward to remember, so some clever people created the DNS (Domain Name System) - a way to use friendly names, such as krystal.co.uk instead of 126.96.36.199. The global DNS system converts countless billions of names to IP addresses (and vice versa) every day.
When you try to open any website, or connect to any server on the internet using a Domain Name, the DNS system is what makes it all work.