Domains and IP Addresses Demystified

SmartWhois :Whois is an Internet program that allows users to query a database of domains and IP addresses to retrieve information about the owners, administrators, geographic location, etc. As the name suggests, SmartWhois is a smart, feature-rich Whois utility capable of performing such queries.

Domains, IP addresses, host names, sites, and URLs have always been the source of many misconceptions, even amongst advanced Internet users. These notions are often misunderstood and/or confused. What's the difference between a domain name and host name? What do those numeric IP addresses mean? How can I learn who owns a domain? Can I trace a user by IP address?

Domain: A domain is a logical region of the Internet. Domain names consist of one or several parts separated by periods, for example: "" You can refer to all of the computers that share the right-most portion of a name as being in the same domain, for example: "" and "" are both in the "" domain

IP Address: Every computer connected to the Internet is assigned a unique number known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This number identifies each sender or receiver of information that is sent in packets across the Internet. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, or could be valid IP addresses.

Host Name: A host name is only an alias for the IP address. It is assigned to a computer for easy reference by humans. Take, for example, a web server, "" Its IP address is, but this number is not easy to remember. It's not likely that you will learn it by heart and enter it into your browser when you want to visit this web site, but is much easier to remember. When you enter into your browser, it quickly contacts the Domain Name System (DNS) server and finds out that translates into From that point on, your browser uses the obtained numeric IP address to send and receive data to/from this web site. A computer connected to the Internet may or may not have a host name, but it must have an IP address.

Web Site and URLs: A web site is a group of web pages stored on a particular web server. A web server is just a computer connected to the Internet that runs the software necessary for serving web pages. Typically, web servers have host names that begin with "www," e.g. "," although this is not always the case. A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the address of a resource that is retrievable using on of the Internet protocols, usually Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). An example of a URL is ""get smart who's from below button



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