Root Name Server

Root name servers are the servers at the root of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. The root servers contain the information that makes up the root zone, which is the global list of top level domains. The root zone contains:
  •  generic top level domains – such as .com, .net, and .org
  • country code top level domains – two-letter codes for each country, such as .se for Sweden or .no for Norway
  •  internationalised top level domains – generally equivalents of country code top level domain names written in the countries’ local character sets

For each of those top level domains, the root zone contains the numeric addresses of name servers which serve the top level domain’s contents, and the root servers respond with these addresses when asked about a top level domain.

Who operates the root servers?

The root servers are operated by 12 different organisations:

  •  VeriSign Global Registry Services
  •  University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute
  •  Cogent Communications
  •  University of Maryland
  •  NASA Ames Research Center
  •  Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.
  •  US DoD Network Information Center
  •  US Army Research Lab
  •  Netnod
  •  VeriSign Global Registry Services
  •  RIPE NCC
  •  ICANN
  •  WIDE Project

Many of these organisations have been operating root servers since the creation of the DNS, and the list shows the Internet’s early roots as a US-based research and military network.

 

 

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