Use the DNS lookup tool to find the IP address of any domain name. The lookup results will include the IP addresses in the DNS records received from the name servers.
How does DNS work?
The domain name system, otherwise known as DNS, is a key component of the Internet. DNS is the resolution of a domain name to an IP address.
Typical DNS queries are sent through four different server types: the DNS recursor, the root nameserver, the TLD nameserver, and the authoritative nameserver. The domain name system recursor gets the query and communicates with other domain name system servers in order to get the correct IP address.
Once it’s located, the domain name system recursor will send the query to the three other domain name system servers. Next, the root server, designated as the Internet’s domain name system root zone, responds to requests sent in the root zone. A list of authoritative nameservers that correspond with TLDs gets sent back as a response.
The TLD nameserver will then store the second-level domain IP address and release the website’s IP address. The query gets sent to the domain’s nameserver, and finally, the authoritative nameserver can respond to the original domain name system query.
What is DNS lookup used for?
DNS record lookups are used for translating IP addresses and domain names. With the tool, users can find the IP address of a domain name and other information related to domains. It shows you what the IP address of a website is
Users can also perform a reverse DNS lookup, which uses pointer records to query an IP address in order to find a hostname. Note that some IP addresses will not return a domain name if there are multiple domains associated with a given IP address.
Overview of the forward DNS lookup process
The forward lookup, or simple DNS lookup, is the most commonly used approach to DNS. The forward approach to DNS is simply finding out the IP address of a domain.
People tend to find it difficult to remember long strings of numbers. Instead, it's easier to remember a domain name that uses words, like 'google.com' rather than '126.96.36.199.'
However, electronic devices use streams of 1s and 0s to communicate. The only way for one computer to communicate with another is by unique identification. The method of identification used on the Internet is IP addresses.
Here are the simple steps for DNS resolution:
- A user enters a domain name into their Internet browser, like www.whatismyip.com.
- The computer sends the domain name as a DNS request to the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- The ISP determines if it has the IP address associated with that name.
- If it does not, the ISP forwards the request to other providers in an effort to locate the DNS record that contains the data.
- Once the record is found, the IP address of the domain is returned to the user.
- Now, the user's computer can communicate directly with the server.
How to perform a DNS lookup
To use the DNS lookup command, enter the domain URL into the tool above and select Lookup or press Enter. It will return the IPv4 address records for a domain in a domain lookup.
You can also use the nslookup command to retrieve the nameserver type associated with a given domain rather than using the DNS lookup command.
If you're using a Windows computer, go to Start, then Run, and type command to open the command prompt. Type nslookup and hit Enter. Your search will bring back information about your local DNS default server and IP address.
If you're using a Mac computer, go to the Finder menu in the upper right corner and click Go. Find Utilities, then select Terminal. In the box that pops up, type nslookup followed by the IP address or domain you want to query, and then hit Enter. Your search will return the DNS server and IP address of the information you entered.
If you want to know how to look up a domain to find the owner, use a WHOIS Domain Lookup or the IP WHOIS Lookup tool once you have a domain's IP address.