Name Resolution


Name resolution is the process of converting human-readable domain names or hostnames into their corresponding IP addresses. This allows devices connected to the internet to locate and connect with each other. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the primary technology responsible for facilitating name resolution on the internet.

Key Takeaways

  1. Name Resolution is the process of converting human-readable domain names, such as, into actual IP addresses, such as, that computers use to identify each other on the internet.
  2. Domain Name System (DNS) is the primary technology used for name resolution, serving as a distributed directory of domain names and their associated IP addresses. DNS operates by storing these mappings on numerous DNS servers globally, ensuring a fast and robust system.
  3. Name resolution can also be facilitated through local configuration files like the ‘hosts’ file on a computer, where specific domain names are manually mapped to their corresponding IP addresses. However, this method is less dynamic and widely used compared to DNS.


Name resolution is an essential aspect of technology as it enables users and systems to access resources on the internet or other networks with ease and efficiency.

This process is responsible for translating human-friendly domain names, like, into their corresponding IP addresses, which are understood by computers and network devices.

By simplifying the way we interact with networks, name resolution significantly improves the user experience and contributes to the overall functionality and organization of the internet.

It also allows for more effective network management and maintenance, as well as the seamless integration of new devices and services onto the internet ecosystem.


Name resolution is a critical technology process that plays a vital role in making the internet more accessible and user-friendly. In essence, it helps translate human-readable domain names, such as, into IP addresses that computers and networking devices utilize to identify and connect with each other.

This translation process serves a significant purpose as it simplifies the process of accessing websites and online resources, making it easier for users to browse and navigate the internet without having to remember long strings of numerical IP addresses. Name resolution allows for a more seamless, intuitive interaction with the digital world, fostering communication, connectivity, and collaboration on a global scale.

One of the primary uses of name resolution is within the context of the Domain Name System (DNS) – a decentralized, hierarchical database that associates domain names with their corresponding IP addresses. When a user types a URL into the address bar of a web browser, the DNS server is queried to resolve the domain name to its corresponding IP address, allowing the web browser to establish a connection with the target server.

DNS is essential not only for browsing the web but also for email communication, as it enables email clients to route messages to the appropriate recipient servers. Name resolution is integral to the efficient functioning of countless internet-based services and applications, streamlining the process of connecting people, information, and devices across the digital landscape.

Examples of Name Resolution

Domain Name System (DNS): DNS is one of the most common examples of name resolution in real-world applications. It is used to translate human-readable domain names, such as, into IP addresses that computers understand. When you enter a URL into your web browser, the browser requests a DNS server to resolve the domain name into an IP address, enabling the browser to connect with the web server hosting the website.

Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS): In Microsoft Windows networks, WINS is a name resolution service that translates NetBIOS names to IP addresses. It is used primarily in local area networks (LANs) to help computers and devices communicate with one another. When a computer requests to connect to another computer using its NetBIOS name, WINS resolves the name to an IP address, enabling the two machines to establish a connection.

Multicast Domain Name Service (mDNS): mDNS is a name resolution protocol that operates over local networks without the need for a centralized DNS server. It allows devices to automatically discover and communicate with each other using domain names instead of IP addresses. For example, Apple’s Bonjour service uses mDNS to enable devices, such as computers, printers, and IoT devices, to seamlessly discover and connect with each other on a local network.

Name Resolution FAQ

What is name resolution?

Name resolution is the process of resolving a domain name or hostname into its corresponding IP address. This is done using the Domain Name System (DNS), which is a distributed database that maps domain names to IP addresses.

What are the different types of name resolution?

There are several types of name resolution methods such as DNS resolution, multicast DNS (mDNS), Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution (LLMNR), and NetBIOS over TCP/IP. However, the most commonly used method is DNS resolution.

How does DNS name resolution work?

DNS name resolution works by submitting a query to a DNS server to look up a domain name and retrieve its corresponding IP address. The DNS server may either provide the answer directly, or it might need to forward the query to other DNS servers in the hierarchy until the correct IP address is found.

What is the importance of name resolution in networking?

Name resolution is crucial for navigating the internet and accessing resources on a network. It ensures that users can access websites by typing in human-friendly domain names rather than memorizing numerical IP addresses. It also helps automate tasks, such as sending emails, by enabling applications to find the appropriate servers by using domain names.

What is a DNS resolver and what role does it play in name resolution?

A DNS resolver, also known as a DNS client, is a software component that sends DNS queries on behalf of the user or application to look up domain names and retrieve their respective IP addresses. It plays a critical role in the name resolution process, as it manages communication between the user’s device and the DNS server to find and return the requested information.

Related Technology Terms

  • DNS (Domain Name System)
  • Hostname
  • IP Address
  • DNS Resolver
  • DNS Cache

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents