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Root Server

Definition - What does Root Server mean?

A root server is part of the supporting infrastructure of the Internet, and facilitates Internet use by acting as the backbone of online access.

Root servers are an essential part of the domain name system (DNS). They publish root zone file contents, which are responsible for DNS functionality, to the Internet. DNS associates information with domain names, and a great deal of online activity makes use of it. Domain names are mapped to IP addresses through this process, for example.

A root server is often called a DNS root name server.

Techopedia explains Root Server

Internet traffic never passes through root servers. Routing is not a root server function. Instead, root servers answer queries from other sections of the DNS.

A number of root servers are located around the world, although there is some controversy about how many are actually in existence. Many sources claim that there are 13 root servers. However, this claim has been shown to be false, as it only refers to the number of named authorities in a root zone's delegation data. Most sources list hundreds of these root servers existing in various locations worldwide.

This definition was written in the context of Domain Name System (DNS)
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