The Domain Name System
The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users navigate the Internet. Every device on the Internet has a unique address called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses can be hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a text-based domain name to be used instead of the IP address.
Every Internet-connected device has a unique IP address. IP addresses consist of a series of numbers and letters. For example, the ICANN website IP address is 126.96.36.199.
A domain name consists of two or more textual segments separated by dots, such as icann.org. A domain name identifies a specific address on the Internet that belongs to an entity such as a company, organization, institution, or individual.
The DNS connects the IP address to the domain name to help users navigate the Internet.
If you want to visit the ICANN website, you simply type icann.org into your browser. Your device uses the DNS to look up the domain name and find its associated IP address. The DNS is the address book of the Internet.
If you want to learn more about how it works, explore ICANN organization's DNS infographic.