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domain basics

Domain Name Basics

Each domain name is unique. For instance there is only one Each Domain name exists in a central database. Specifically, in a series of the company InterNIC's computers which are located at various points globally. By registering a name, the details you input are recorded in this publicly accessible central database; along with the date that you purchased it, and when you'll next have to pay for renewal.

But what you most basically need for a live web site is a number. The name you purchase will have a corresponding unique 'IP address'. In a sense the name is a substitute for a number address. The technical implications of this is that your domain name itself must be in some place where a computer can go to discover that the IP address is associated with this name. That's an important detail of the way the web works. This association contains the name's field and the addresses of the IP live server of that name, or nameserver for short. Thus a nameserver acts as a pointing guide for other computers on the network to actually locate your web site. domain names explained
Each nameserver computer has responsibility over keeping these details of at least one but usually many domain names. Which is why you are often asked when you register a name, to put in your secondary as well as primary nameservers. Thus if your primary nameserver is out of action, people's computers can still find your site through your secondary nameserver (or third, fourth and fifth nameserver if you want to play it really safe.) Your primary name server is termed your Domain Name Server, or DNS. Sometimes, however, this information is not totally up to date, because of the nameserver practice of caching. Like the cache memory in your own computer, a nameserver may store details of domain name IP relationships to speed things up. So if you ever change the IP of your domain name, it will take a little while for some site users to catch up.
If you decide to move nameservers, then what you are really doing is transferring the right for the nameserving of the association between a particular IP address and its domain name.  
  So domain names are merely a pointer that you type in a browser which actually point to a number? What is all the fuss about? Why do you come across so many references on the net to big dollars changing hands for domain names?