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Chapter 13. New Names: How DNS Works > DNS from the Client Side

13.3. DNS from the Client Side

With those basics out of the way, let's start getting DNS working with a look at the part of DNS that you'll find on every system: the "DNS client." Every one of your systems, whether workstation or server, needs something that knows where to go to translate www.minasi.com to 70.165.73.5 or whatever my Web server's address happens to be at the time. Thus, every one of your systems is equipped with a piece of software that can answer the what-IP-address-goes-with-this-DNS-name question. That software is called a DNS client. In Windows, it's implemented as a service called, not surprisingly, the DNS client service.

13.3.1. Preferred and Alternate DNS Servers

The DNS client software on your computers works pretty hard for you and requires little in return, but it's not smart enough to go searching around the Internet finding DNS servers (remember, the servers can do that, not the clients) and so it does need one piece of information before the DNS client can be useful: the IP address of a DNS server to ask its questions of. Well, okay, it also likes one more piece of information: the IP address of a second DNS server to use if that first DNS server isn't available for some reason. (Windows calls them your system's preferred and alternate DNS servers, respectively, and in fact it's possible to feed a DNS client more than two DNS servers, as you'll soon see).


  

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