What is the DNS Root Zone?

This tutorial will explain what the root zone is in DNS

The DNS root zone, sometimes referred to as the dot (.) zone, is the first point of contact for DNS name resolution.

ICANN explains this in further detail:

“The DNS translates domain names that humans can remember into the numbers used by computers to look up its destination (a little like a phone book is used to look-up a phone number). It does this in stages. The first place it ‘looks’ is the top level of the directory service – or “root zone”. So to use www.google.com as an example, your computer ‘asks’ the root zone directory (or top level) where to find information on “.com”. After it gets a response it then asks the “.com” directory service identified by the root where to find information on .google.com (the second level), and finally asking the google.com directory service identified by “.com” what the address for www.google.com is (the third level). After that process – which is almost instantaneous – the full address is provided to your computer. Different entities manage each one of these directory services: google.com by Google, “.com” by VeriSign Corporation (other top level domains are managed by other organizations), and the root zone by ICANN.” – ICANN

What is the DNS Root Zone

The DNS Root Zone, also known as the “dot” or “root” zone, is a fundamental part of the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure. It serves as the starting point for resolving domain names on the internet.

The DNS Root Zone consists of the root zone file, which contains a list of all the top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .net, .gov, and country-code TLDs like .uk, .ca, .jp, etc. Each TLD has its own set of authoritative name servers responsible for managing and resolving domain names within that TLD.

The root zone file is maintained by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that oversees the management of domain names and IP addresses. ICANN coordinates with various entities, including the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), to manage the root zone and ensure its proper functioning.

When you enter a domain name into a web browser or any other application that uses DNS, the DNS resolver starts the resolution process by contacting a recursive resolver. The recursive resolver then recursively queries the DNS hierarchy, starting with the root zone, to find the authoritative name servers responsible for the specific domain.

In summary, the Root Zone is the top-level of the DNS hierarchy, containing a list of all the TLDs, and plays a crucial role in resolving domain names across the internet.



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