What is a domain name?

Domain names were created to make IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses more human-friendly. Watch this video to learn more about domain names and how they work.

Video transcript

Hi there. In this video, you’ll learn what a domain name is and how they work.

Domain names were created to make IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses more human-friendly. An IP address is a unique set of numbers that is assigned to every computer on the Internet.

Think of IP addresses like street addresses - they identify where a computer is located on the Internet and help route information so that it can easily travel between computers. But IP addresses, like this one, don’t exactly roll of your tongue, do they?

And then just imagine having to memorize such a string of - seemingly random numbers for every single website you wanted to find on the Internet. If only there was an easier way… actually, there is.

While computers require IP addresses to locate one another, we humans can use domain names.

The Domain Name System, or DNS [D-N-S], takes domain names — the kind of web addresses that people understand, like GoDaddy.com — and translates them into IP addresses that computers need to communicate.

So instead of 97.74.104.218, you can simply remember GoDaddy.com. Much easier, right?

When visitors enter your domain name into a Web browser, the browser uses your domain name to find the correct IP address and, in turn, passes back the website associated with that IP address.

Think of this way; your domain name functions like the contacts you store in your mobile phone.

When you touch the name of a contact that’s stored in your mobile phone, your mobile phone automatically dials the number you’ve saved for that contact.

You don’t need to know where the person you’re calling is located, and you don’t need to even enter their specific phone number. All you do is touch the contact and mobile phone does the rest.

Remember, domain names provide you with a simple, human-friendly way to locate websites on the Internet.

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