A “Domain Name System,” or DNS, is a system that identifies computers accessible via the internet. Every device that connects to the internet has a unique IP address (this address includes a bunch of numbers) that other devices use to find it.

Since IP address are hard to remember, a translation happens between what the user types into their internet browser and accessing the web address — in the most simplistic terms, DNS allows domain names to become IP addresses so computers can find them.

We didn’t always have DNS — in the very beginning we still had to type out the IP addresses. Then in the early 1980s Paul Mockapetris created a system that automatically mapped IP addresses to domain names, and that’s how DNS started.

You can think of DNS like the “phone book” of the internet as it links all of those IP addresses with the domain names we commonly use instead. It’s what holds the internet together!