Definition

Forward DNS lookup

Forward DNS lookup is using an Internet domain name to find an IP address. Reverse DNS lookup is using an Internet IP address to find a domain name. When you enter the address for a Web site at your browser (the address is formally called the Uniform Resource Locator, or URL), the address is transmitted to a nearby router which does a forward DNS lookup in a routing table to locate the IP address. Forward DNS (which stands for domain name system) lookup is the more common lookup since most users think in terms of domain names rather than IP addresses. However, occasionally you may see a Web page with a URL in which the domain name part is expressed as an IP address (sometimes called a dot address) and want to be able to see its domain name. An Internet facility that lets you do either forward or reverse DNS lookup yourself is called nslookup. It comes with some operating systems or you can download the program and install it in your computer.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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