Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) provide human-readable addresses that map to specific IP addresses, making it easier for people to navigate the internet effortlessly. 

Every website we visit, every server or network device is recognized by a unique address known as an IP address. Remembering a string of numbers for each website is too much to expect and hence, to make things easier, fully qualified domain names FQDNs were introduced.  

Here is more information on what FQDN is, how to find FQDN and more. 

What is a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)? 

FQDN is a complete domain name that points out an exact location in the Domain Name System hierarchy. It consists of both the host name and the domain name along with the top-level domain. In the FQDN for example, “www.example.com,” “www” is the host name, “example” is the second-level domain, and “.com” is the top-level domain. 

An FQDN provides a unique way to identify a specific location on the internet. It is essential for a lot of internet services, such as web hosting, email routing and network configuration.  

Why Do You Need an FQDN? 

FQDNs indicate unique addresses on the internet and make them essential to the experience. An alternative thought for the use of it is if you do not have an FQDN then you do not have a website people can access. FQDN’s are also required for installing SSL certificates which is another feature expected from most websites. 

FQDNs prove to be extremely useful when you want to have a computer discoverable on an internet network, mainly if you want to access a computer remotely. This is common in offices because it makes it easier to track activity on a specific computer. An FQDN for your computer makes it possible for it to be identified on the internet. 

It also helps you access domain services such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and email. One of the examples is that if you wanted to connect a domain name email to an email app on your phone manually, you would also need to know the FQDN for the mail server which might look something like “mail.yourdomainname.com.”  

Some of the reasons to have FQDN are: 

  • An FQDN provides a clear and precise address for internet resources which makes it easier to locate and access them. 
  • It allows easier reorganization of network resources without changing the IP addresses. 
  • It points to multiple services running on different servers such as web, email, or FTP services. 
  • It can also be used in SSL certificates to verify the authenticity of websites while ensuring secure communication. 

How to Find Your FQDN 

Finding your FQDN depends on the system you are operating as finding it is different for windows and for people who use MacOS. Here is a detailed explanation of how to find it through your specific operating system: 

Windows: 

  • Go to the Start Menu button and type “device name”. Click on the View Your PC Name menu. 
  • Select Advanced system settings, and you should see the Full Computer Name section – that is the FQDN. 
  • Right-click on the Start Menu and select Windows Terminal. Enter the ipconfig /all command to reveal a complete Windows IP configuration which should include the hostname, primary DNS suffix, and connection-specific DNS Suffix.  

MacOS: 

  • For the people who are MacOS users, they need to click the System Preferences icon or navigate to the Apple menu at the top left then select System Preferences and choose Sharing. 
  • At the top you should see an FQDN and a connection-specific DNS suffix under the Computer Name section. 

Linux users can find FQDN by entering the hostname –fqdn command line in the Terminal. To open the Terminal an individual should press CTRL + ALT + T or search for it by clicking the Dash icon and typing “terminal” in the search box then selecting the Terminal application.  

When to Use an FQDN 

Each device on the internet has an Internet Protocol Access and a corresponding FQDN. It reveals the absolute domain name of a site and proves useful for troubleshooting DNS issues. You should use it whenever you need to specify a precise location on the internet.  

Following is some of the popular use cases: 

Connecting to a Remote Host 

When an individual tries to connect to a remote server, the DNS server performs a lookup in its DNS table to resolve the FQDN to its IP address. If a connection is attempted to a remote server with only the hostname, such as xyz instead of xyz.com, the DNS table returns an error message and sometimes using an FQDN is essential to reach a remote server especially if it is not sharing the same internet service provider. 

Configuring the DNS and IP address  

FQDNs are easier to remember than IP addresses and play a significant role in configuring the DNS and the IP address on the internet. One of the examples is that when an individual tries to reach Google, it is much easier to type wikipedia.com in the browser instead of finding and typing its numerical IP address. 

Getting an SSL Certificate  

Each FQDN has a secure socket layer to encrypt the connection between the browser and the web server which also specifies its location identity. SSL services cannot be used properly without an FQDN. 

Migrating to a New Server  

An FQDN can prove to benefit when migrating to a different server. Using an FQDN instead of an IP address helps quickly change the DNS records and prevents communication issues and outages that can happen when changing an IP address. 

Branding Potential 

It lets site visitors know the location, identity and presence of a website which provides an important help with brand promotion. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  

An FQDN can positively impact a website’s SEO ranking by enhancing credibility and trust, incorporating relevant keywords, building brand identity, facilitating backlinking, and improving user experience. 

Accessing Domain Services 

FQDNs play a key role in connecting to Email or File Transfer Protocol. One of the examples is that the FQDN of a mail server is needed to connect a domain name’s email to an email application on a phone such as Google Mail or Apple Mail. 

Without Fully Qualified Domain Names, the internet would be significantly more challenging to use and navigate. Users would have to remember and enter long strings of numbers (IP addresses) to access websites, and websites and resources would be less memorable and harder to share, reducing the usability and accessibility of the internet. 

With FQDN, internet navigation, communication, and troubleshooting are easier, making online activities more efficient and secure. 

Wondering, how to find a FQDN for your online presence? BigRock will help you find your perfect domain name that is memorable, suits your business and stands out from the crowd.