Whilst internally the internet uses IP addresses, the way people interact with the internet uses names. We use names like www.aa.net.uk to get to a web site, or firstname.lastname@example.org to send an email. These names are called host names or domain names (there is no practical difference between the terms). For a web site the first part after the http:// is the domain name, usually starting www. For email the domain name is the bit after the @.
In order to access a web site or send an email or anything else which uses a name, the name has to be turned in to an IP address or other information that can be used to actually make the connection across the internet. This conversion is called resolving.
Customer Facing DNS Resolvers
We provide two resolvers for customers to use. If you have to set up your computer manually with these (refered to as "DNS servers") they are 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. We also have IPv6 resolvers: 2001:8b0::2020 and 2001:8b0::2021.
Internet Facing DNS Servers
Once you have a domain you need to have authoritative DNS servers. These are servers which tell the rest of the world what information you have associated with the domain. For example, if you had example.com you might have decided that www.example.com would have an IP address of 10.20.30.40. This means when anyone tried www.example.com in a web browser they would connect to IP address 10.20.30.4 to get the web page. The DNS servers are what hold that information and tell any computer in the world the answer if they ask. The registry is who tells them which DNS servers to ask in the first place.
Once you have the domain you can create any subdomains under it, these are more bits that then have a dot then your domain. So if you had example.com you can have thisisan.example.com as a sub domain. You can have sub domains of sub domains, so even this.is.an.example.com could be used if you wanted.
We have two authorative DNS servers called primary-dns.co.uk and secondary-dns.co.uk. If you have a DNS service from us you can edit the domain records using a web page on our control pages. There is more information on the control pages about the different types of record you can set up.
Registry Delegation Management
We provide on-line management for registry settings for .uk domains via the control pages, for other domains (eg com/net/org) please contact sales for changes. Where the registry handles it we allow control of:-
- Name and contact details (published in whois) - note that UK domains cannot change registrant name via your agent (us) and must be done direct with nominet.
- Name servers
- Name server glue records including (where available) IPv6. UK domains can have IPv6 domain glue.
- DNSSEC DS data records for signed delegation (where available). UK domains allow DS data records. Note that changes to these may require additional checks by staff such as checking your PGP fingerprint manually
International Domain Names
Our management systems understand use of IDN in domains and sub domain records. more on International Domain Names