Decentralised Blockchain DNS Servers Explained
A decentralised blockchain DNS server is a system that registers, manages, and resolves domain names on the blockchain.
The server works like a conventional DNS server with one major difference, decentralisation. Decentralisation enables blockchain servers to work without the inconveniences of conventional DNS servers, which include intermediary interferences and control. Conventional DNS Server
The conventional DNS server works like a public directory stored on a network of computer servers. It translates domain names, humanly understandable addresses, into IP addresses, which are understandable by machines.
The problem with conventional DNS servers is their centralised nature. Data from the servers are distributed worldwide but are managed by different organisations hierarchically. There is the first level, also known as the root level, managed by registries, and the second level, which registrars operate.
Big names like Google, Amazon, GoDaddy, NameCheap, and Cloudflare currently dominate the domain registration space. They register and rent domain names to users in a centralized manner that is neither private nor democratized. The services can choose at any time to delete or remove a customer’s domain. Their centralized nature also leaves them vulnerable to cyber-attacks like hacking.
How a decentralised blockchain DNS server works
A decentralised blockchain DNS server relies on blockchain technology for the security and privacy of users’ data.
Blockchain operates as a data structure distributed through a decentralised network. The technology lives on nodes, computers run by participants on the network. It features no central authority.
Once on the blockchain, data is encrypted and stored immutably. It is also time-stamped for easy auditing. Tampering or deleting data on the blockchain is an impossible task for many hackers.
The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it hard for powerful entities like governments to influence the use and regulations of decentralised blockchain DNS servers.
Qualities of decentralized blockchain DNS servers
• Availability: A decentralised blockchain DNS server suffers no downtime. It is available 24/7 for the benefit of users. • Integrity: Blockchain ensures decentralised blockchain DNS servers are incorruptible. Data stored on the servers is always secure from corruption, modification, or deletion.
• Confidentiality: Encryption ensures users' data on decentralised blockchain DNS servers is only accessible to users and those they wish to share it with. No one, government, company, or organisation, can access users' data.
Conventional DNS servers vs Blockchain DNS servers
How blockchain DNS servers can solve some of the problems plaguing conventional DNS servers
Conventional DNS servers are controlled by a few organizations, governments, and companies. These third parties have the power to control internet services. They can censor and block internet usage. Companies that register and rent domain names can at any time delete or remove customers' domains.
Blockchain DNS servers work without the need for intermediaries. Users of the servers don't have to worry about internet censorship or blockage. Domain name holders don’t have to worry about losing their domain names at any moment and without any apparent reasons why. The centralised nature of conventional DNS servers leaves them vulnerable to cyber-attacks and corruption. Hackers only need to hijack a few servers or corrupt a few controls to compromise the systems.
Blockchain DNS servers function without a single point of failure vulnerability. The system operates on a decentralized network that is almost impossible to hack. Its immutability nature means data cannot be corrupted once on the network.
Conventional DNS servers are not privacy-focused. Data from the servers can be tracked and collected to be sold for advertisement purposes. Blockchain DNS servers are highly encrypted for privacy. Only those with access to a blockchain network can view and modify data. There is no tracking or collecting of users' data on a blockchain DNS server.
Conventional DNS servers are also susceptible to downtimes when one component of the whole is not working as the resources are hierarchical.
Blockchain DNS servers work without the possibility of inconvenient downtimes. The servers don't operate based on a hierarchical structure. They operate on nodes that are unlikely to suffer a downtime simultaneously.
Types of Blockchain DNS
Blockchain DNS is available as a browser extension or stand-alone software. Some of the browser extensions used to access blockchain domains include FriGate, Blockchain DNS, and PeerName. FriGate is designed for Google Chrome, while Blockchain DNS is designed for Firefox. PeerName is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Popular Blockchain DNS software includes Namecoin, Blockstack, HandShake, Emercoin, Stack, Alaoha blockchain DNS, and Unstoppable Domains.
Decentralised blockchain DNS servers offer internet users a better way to register, manage, and resolve domain names. Thanks to blockchain technology, DNS files become harder to modify, delete, or corrupt. The files are also protected against censorship by governments.
Decentralised blockchain DNS servers may not be as popular as conventional DNS servers, but they offer many benefits that make them worth it.
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Author: Jay Jackson
Jay Jackson is a crypto trader, researcher and freelance writer. He works closely with people and businesses in the crypto sphere, writing blog posts, guides, press releases, reviews and ebooks.