Behind the Scenes: The Journey of Typing ‘google.com’ and Pressing Enter
Have you ever wondered what happens when you type “google.com” into your web browser and hit Enter? It seems like a simple action, but beneath the surface, a complex series of processes unfold to bring you the web page you requested. In this blog post, I’ll take you on a journey through the inner workings of this seemingly ordinary task and explore the fascinating subtopics that make it all happen.
1. DNS Request: Unveiling the Internet’s Phone Book
This is the gateway to the web. When you enter “google.com” into your browser’s address bar, you set in motion the DNS (Domain Name System) request process. It’s akin to accessing the internet’s phone book, translating human-friendly domain names into machine-friendly IP addresses.
Basically, your browser sends a query to a DNS server, typically provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), requesting the IP address associated with “google.com.” First, your computer checks its local DNS cache. This cache stores recently resolved domain names and IP addresses to expedite future requests, enhancing browsing speed. If the IP address isn’t cached locally, your computer sends a recursive DNS query to the DNS server. This server may further query other DNS servers to locate the IP address.
When necessary, the DNS server begins its quest at the top of the DNS hierarchy, consulting root DNS servers to identify the appropriate top-level domain (TLD) server. The DNS server contacts the TLD DNS servers responsible for the specific domain extension, such as “.com,” to obtain information about the authoritative name servers for “google.com.” Contacting the authoritative name servers for “google.com,” your DNS server obtains the definitive IP address for the domain.
The authoritative name servers provide the IP address associated with “google.com,” which is cached by the DNS server for future reference. Your computer then receives the IP address from the DNS server, enabling it to establish a connection with the web server hosting “google.com.”