Each site or location that needed to resolve host names to IP addresses had to at regular intervals download a new copy of the HOSTS file.

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Domain Name System (DNS) is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard name service which enables applications and users to connect to hosts in TCP/IP based networks by specifying a name.

DNS makes it possible to assign domain names to organizations independent of the routing of the numerical IP address.

DNS is a hierarchically distributed database that creates hierarchical names that can be resolved to IP addresses.

The IP addresses are then resolved to MAC addresses.

The nslookup command can be used to find various details relating to a particular DNS (Domain Name System) such as IP address, MX records, etc.

Go to the command prompt and type in nslookup host_name server_IP_address.

Replace the actual host name to be resolved for host_name and the IP address of the DNS server for server_IP_address then press enter.

DNS therefore provides the means for naming IP hosts, and for locating IP hosts when they are queried for by name.

The protocols and standards of DNS provide the following key components: The HOSTS files were used to resolve host names to IP addresses before DNS was in existence.