To your browser, they are both the same thanks to the magic of DNS. What DNS does is to map and match domain names like to an IP address like 18.104.22.168. When you type into a browser, the computer asks a DNS server on your local network or the internet if it can find an IP address that it can match with that domain name (most browsers have a small bar at the bottom that will display a message saying "looking up ..."). The said DNS server will answer back with the IP address if it has mapped and matched it, and if not, it will then contact other DNS servers on the Internet until it finds the address it's looking for (or throws an error if there is no match). The whole process generally takes will only take a few milliseconds.
ISP's generally assign each customers router to a DNS server to contact when the connection is first made. Your router will receive DNS requests from your local network and pass them on to the ISP's server. Without any DNS servers, your web browser would be unable to convert domain names such as freedomain.club into an IP address, and you would not be able to access any web pages.
In reality you don't have to have a domain name to host a website. If your home computer is connected to the Internet with a web server such as Apache, nGinx or Hiawatha (my fave and highly reccomended!), and you have created a web page in your web servers root delivery directory, anyone else on the internet can access that web page by typing your current IP address into their web browser. Nowadays you will find you get your routers admin login (hopefully) page, as your router has a very liteweight web server built in! You will always have to configure your router with port forwarding which, in short, allows a connection to bypass the routers web server and go directly to your computers web server on the given ports you forward. But if you want to host a website that people will actually visit though, it really is best to get a domain name.
In order to get a domain name, you will need to register with one of the many domain name registration services (such as ), Although Network Solutions is the Great Pappa of all of them, there are so many other registrars which offer very competitive pricing. Usually you get a domain, for a fee, on a monthly, yearly or multi-year basis. governs all domain names on the Internet, and domain registrars have special permission, by way of obtaining a license from ICANN, to lease them to you for a period of time.
Once you have chosen a domain registrar service, you will obviously choose the domain name you want and search with your chosen registrar to see if that particular domain name is already taken, so there is no chance of two people owning freedomain.club for example. Fees for domain registration will vary greatly, from a few pence/cents (, at the time of this writing, are offering .co and .co.uk for £0.01!), right up into the millions;
Insurance.com $35.6 million in 2010.
VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007.
PrivateJet.com $30.18 million in 2012.
Internet.com $18 million in 2009.
360.com $17 million in 2015.
Insure.com $16 million in 2009.
Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million.
Once you have registered your domain name, you can use the domain registrars website to map and match your newly purchased domain name with your computer's IP address. From this point on, anyone who enters your domain name into a browser will be directed to your IP address and subsequently your web page/site! Simple really ;p !
So guys there you have it, what DNS is and how it all works. Thanks for reading and I hope you've learnt something new today and I will be back with more information and tutorials all the time. If any one has any questions or requests for future tuts, guides or info please don't hesitate to ask and if I know how to answer I will do a guide on that subject.
(I'm good with networking, web servers, web design, Linux all round, and many other things that I just love to share. I'm a big believer that knowledge is power!)
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