What is DNS?
The Domain Name System, or DNS, is the universal naming system for assigning addresses to web pages and web servers (big computers). Think of the DNS server as one large public phone book, where you can lookup the domain name you want on the internet. DNS provides various records that you can lookup and are used to make the Internet work. More specifically, it's a system that translates your domain name into an IP address, which will help protect your privacy. Your site will have a variety of DNS records for the multiple services it uses.
For example, when you type a domain name into a web browser, this is what happens:
As a user, you are directed to a specific web server's IP address, which is translated in your browser, using the DNS, into what we recognize as the domain name format. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers (values ranging from zero to 255) separated by dots (e.g. 126.96.36.199). The DNS translates the IP address into a more easily graspable language; after all, we humans are much better at remembering “Facebook.com” rather than "188.8.131.52."
You can review all of the DNS records that are set up for any site you host at DreamHost on the (Panel > 'Domains' > 'Manage Domains') page. Under the domain name, click on the 'DNS' link:
This information is very handy if your domain points to non-DreamHost nameservers and you need to configure any or all of these records manually to point to DreamHost services.
If you are using DreamHost hosting services (including parking or a redirect of the site), and your domain is registered with DreamHost, you should use these name servers:
As long as the nameservers are pointing to DreamHost, the records on your domain’s DNS page will be applied to your domain.