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About domains

A domain is a name that is easily memorised and is used to locate and identify computers on the Internet.

When we visit a website or send an email, our computer needs to know the location of the server on which the destination page or email is stored, to be able to show us the information we want to see (the contents of the page or the email delivery report).

The information about the location of these servers is on another server (called a name server), which ensures that the right address is indicated, in order to deliver the requests sent by our computer to the Internet. This task is carried out by converting the domain name indicated by our computer (e.g. www.dns.pt) into an IP address, which identifies the computers' location on the Internet.

The concept of domain

This was created in order to make it easier to memorise computer addresses on the Internet.

Imagine if you had to memorise a number like 193.136.2.193 (IP address) and insert it in a browser bar in order to look up the DNS' website and then still had to memorise various other number sequences of websites that you use regularly.

It would be quite a difficult task and the Web certainly wouldn't be as successful as it is today. Typing dns.pt or google.com is quite intuitive and easy to memorise.