The B-A-BA of domain names and DNS servers

You can of course choose your domain name without knowing anything about Web technologies, but there are a few basic techniques which would be useful to understand:

Domain and subdomain names

A domain name is a web address where a certain website can be found, e.g. yoursite.net. A domain name requires a certain structure which is defined in the HTTP protocol used to access websites

Domains can be further divided into subdomains, e.g. private.yoursite.net and public.yoursite.net. The subdomains private.yoursite.net et public.yoursite.net are both parte of your domain name yoursite.net.

DNS servers and IP addresses where websites are hosted

The system that manages the way that websites are found on the Internet is called DNS (Domain Name System). The DNS is a database which translates IP addresses into host names (computer names), allowing Internet users to locate a website through user-friendly addresses (for example: your-site.net) without having to know the numeric IP address of the computer on which the website is located.

The lists of domain names and IP addresses are hierarchically distributed over the Internet. The DNS server that is responsible for a certain domain name can be queried by another DNS server and knows to which computer the requested Web page must be sent. This allows you to remotely view Web pages that are physically located on another computer.

What you can and cannot change in the DNS server

Each DNS server keeps information about its domains in several fields and the most important fields are described below. If you are a professional customer you can change some of these fields in the "DNS parameters" of MyProximus. We will implement your changes, but preferably send an e-mail to dnsmaster@proximus.com.

The main fields of the DNS servers are:

  • NS (name server): indicates the name servers that store information about the domain name.
  • A (address): indicates which IP address has been assigned to the field.
    This field is not mandatory since a domain name can be used for mail services as well.
  • MX (mail exchange): indicates which mail servers are responsible for the domain name. This field isn't mandatory either.
  • CName (canonical name): specifies additional names or aliases.

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