Learn all about Blockchain DNS Software along with the most popular Blockchain DNS along with their features in this in-depth guide:
DNS is now prone to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks where an attack to centralized Internet servers leads to the breaking down of websites.
For instance, a DDoS attack on a company like Dyn that controls much of the Internet’s infrastructure may lead to the breakdown of most websites.
The security of DNS is also threatened by man-in-the-middle attacks, and DNS cache poisoning, DNS spoofing, and DNS ID hacking, etc., all known as DNS protocol attacks.
What You Will Learn:
- Blockchain DNS
- List Of Blockchain DNS Software
- Benefits Of Blockchain DNS Over Traditional ICANN TLDs
In a DDoS/DoS attack, the network is unable to respond to normal requests as it is maliciously flooded with a flood of requests to exceed the required load to the server. This is done when a network of computers is wrongly configured or invaded with malware to direct or redirect a lot of traffic to the server.
DNS queries can also be redirected to attackers by the attackers infecting a trusted DHCP server with malware such that the network uses a malicious resolver. This is because most devices will send the DNS requests to the resolver which can be arranged by network providers via DHCP protocol.
This is due to the fact that although traditional DNS servers are distributed all over the world, they are centralized in administration and redundancy as they refer to a central authority, a single point of failure.
For instance, ICANN, which is administered by the US, manages the root zone. DNS relies on unencrypted UDP packets, hence there is no end-to-end data integrity.
- 99.9% of all DNS servers, another DNS asset, and DNS providers are non-blockchain. Just about 0.1% is blockchain DNS assets and providers.
- Blockchain DNS can help to improve the integrity of the information that it does not tamper with the availability of information, confidentiality, authentication of information, and non-repudiation of information to assure that one cannot deny action in a system. These are the most important things in an information system.
- Blockchain DNS can be used as a separate software or over the browser. The easiest and quickest way to use this DNS is via website browser extensions such as Blockchain DNS for Firefox, Frigate, or NEM Blockchain DNS extensions.
- Some blockchain DNS services such as the Ethereum Name Service allows resolving of domain names via traditional DNS and blockchain DNS systems. These are more preferable to combine the benefits of both worlds.
What Is Blockchain DNS
A blockchain DNS is a decentralized DNS server that allows registering, managing, and resolving of domain names on the blockchain. Decentralized means that the network is run and related files are stored and shared on a peer-to-peer server system where network participants acting as nodes connect to each other directly without middlemen.
Generally, a domain name server is a public directory stored on a network of computer servers, and which receives inputs from the user using the internet and website for instance via a browser, to convert them into machine-readable formats. The process is known as DNS resolution.
For instance, the DNS service will convert a website address like www.softwaretestinghelp.com into a system of numbers called an IP address, which is readable and interpretable by machines than would the alphabetical letters.
This IP allows the browser the user is using to browse the internet, to find the right server on the Internet so the user will find the information they are looking for.
The website address is associated with the DNS with the corresponding IP. The DNS service associates Internet resources with particular IP addresses, thereby making them usable in different hosts, networks, protocols, Internet, and administration activity.
Centralized Vs Decentralized DNS Servers
How Blockchain Solves Problems in Current DNS Systems?
Traditionally, DNS’s are based on a centralized server i.e. servers controlled by select organizations and groups and people.
Organizations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names approve Top Level Domains (TLDs) names like those with .com extension and accredits domain name registrars such as Godaddy to sell the rights to use domain names. Registrars also operate the TLDs.
The fact that only a few organizations control centralized DNS servers expose internet services to censorship or blockage says by those controlling the server resources or governments, as well by the way of disruption following natural disasters or unseen situations.
Centralized systems are also more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and corruption as the attackers would only need to hijack a few servers or corrupt a few controllers. They are also affected politically by domain theft and seizures.
Centralized DNS systems are not encrypted or have weak encryption, meaning the DNS Server and everyone else on the route i.e. governments, spies, hackers, etc know what website you are requesting to visit, etc.
Over-relying on a single corporation to oversee the DNS root and to assign top-level domains can lead to problems such as the corporations being under pressure from governments and organizations, such that they could be forced to remove some names from the DNS or prohibit the use of certain names.
Also, a government or authority could for instance direct that Internet Service Providers in a certain country stop directing domain traffic to a particular IP address, which constitutes censorship.
A centralized internet server is also prone to hacking. The digital certificate issuer organizations can be hacked leading to the issue of fake digital certificates and to compromise the security of web connections and expose websites and emails to hacking.
Centralization also means lack of service or downtime when one component of the whole is not working as the resources are hierarchical.
To solve the above problems – which may not be always a problem since harmful content for instance adult content reaching kids – may be successfully blocked for the better good, and decentralized DNS was invented.
In a blockchain DNS, the DNS is based on blockchain technology, which is based on a decentralized peer to peer network or peer-to-peer sharing of Internet resources.
As the DNS files and resources are first encrypted by cryptography and then shared and distributed across the entire blockchain network, they are harder to hack, modify, delete, or corrupt, or be interrupted by way of censorship by governments or by way of a natural disaster affecting a localized region.
That is if the network is really distributed say beyond the geographies where those limitations are occurring. Blockchain DNS also features blockchain website domain extensions that include .bit, .bazar, .coin among others. The lookup tables are shared across a distributed peer-to-peer network on the blockchain.
Workings Of A Blockchain DNS
- In a blockchain DNS, the blockchain is used as secure storage and data or info management system. For instance, as information is encrypted and stored in blocks immutably, with timestamps, it is easier to audit and harder to tamper with and delete.
- The distributed network of the server serving as blockchain domain name server resources are connected on a peer to peer basis via nodes. The nodes are equal in power with no authority over the other. All owners are required to contribute or delegate their votes to specific nodes to decide on matters and changes relating to the blockchain DNS.
- As no single or a few organizations operate the centralized DNS servers, it is hard for powerful stakeholders and governments who always apply considerable pressure to influence the guidelines related to the use of DNS – to influence their use and the regulations.
- Further, registrations contain unique encrypted hashes instead of individual names and addresses and thus it is hard to do an unfair takedown of a site.
- Blockchain offers new flexibility and many opportunities. It does not result in many cost problems that arise with a centralized DNS system. Blockchain can also reduce costs as it eliminates wrangles, increases efficiencies, eliminates ambiguities that result in high costs, as well as introduces more flexibility of registries. For instance, complex interactions with domain registrars and oversees of the process such as ICANN introduces unnecessary costs. This can help to introduce more variable pricing and auction models.
- Small operators can also launch Top Level Domain systems. For instance, for a given niche or purpose.
- The blockchain-based DNS over HTTPS or DoH resolves DNS requests via an encrypted HTTPS protocol, that improves the privacy and security of communications. The HTTPS protocol is decrypted only at the DNS server where the DNS request is being processed to respond to the searches or requests by an Internet user and is sent back to the user in an encrypted version.
Owners of domain names store cryptographic signatures on a public blockchain. It means a device, app or other services using the internet will check a corresponding entry to find the correct signature. Thus there is no need to contact a central organization to get a digital certificate.
These are websites based on the blockchain. Unlike traditional website domains, these are not popular, have non-ordinary extensions like .eth, are based on complex smart contracts to form a human-readable web address, and a user will need to install special extensions and plugins on their normal website browser to access these types of websites.
Domain owners will register a domain on a blockchain. These owners, just like with crypto coins, will get private keys (crypto wallets) to the domain and can control the domain fully. Users can launch their websites without contacting or getting permission from ICANN.
Just like crypto coins, the web domain assets belong to the domain owner and not a central authority. The domains cannot be censored. Users can choose whichever extensions they want or need.
These domains can make payments on the Internet native in addition to being secure and seamless – the users can send payments to domain names directly instead of using alphanumeric addresses or a long numeric account number.
Providers of blockchain domains include Alibaba, Aloaha blockchain DNS, Handshake, and Luxe, Ethereum, NEM, etc.
Qualities Of A Blockchain DNS/How Blockchain Would Help DNS
#1) Availability means no service disruptions on the hosted websites. Peer-to-peer network hosting of websites ensures availability on a 24-hour basis.
#2) Integrity ensures no corruption of data on the DNS. Blockchain achieves consensus using consensus protocol and this ensures integrity, meaning there is no need for DNSSEC’s famous key renewal. Blockchain ensures cryptography encryption, so data cannot easily be hacked and corrupted or modified.
#3) Confidentiality ensures the protection of the privacy of the users by implementing a variety of solutions and methods. Just as in DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol works to ensure confidentiality, requests to the blockchain can be encapsulated in an HTTPS (DoH) protocol.
DoH resolvers can also be deployed on blockchain for the purposes of decentralization.
DNS on the blockchain ensures that all the DNS data – DNS zone files or domain name configurations – as well as all the players (domain registries, registrars, etc), are registered on a distributed blockchain network to facilitate better management of the DNS in a more secure manner.
Types Of Blockchain DNS
Blockchain DNS can be used as a browser extension or stand-alone software. As a browser extension, all you need to use the DNS is open a browser and search on the extension page for the particular extension and install it. Then you will be able to tweak a few settings relating to the use of the software.
List Of Blockchain DNS Software
Here is a list of popular Blockchain DNS Software:
- Ethereum Name Service
- Dot BIT
- Emercoin as an alternative to DNS
- PeerName and its plugin for Chrome, Opera and Firefox
- Blockchain DNS for Firefox
- FrigGate for Chrome and other browsers
- NEM Blockchain DNS extension
- Unstoppable Domains
- Aloaha Blockchain DNS
This first fork of Bitcoin was the first blockchain-based DNS system. It uses a .bit top-level domain name.
- Users can register, renew, and transfer a domain as a traditional DNS does. Registration is through a registrar or with some namecoins.
- Users must install separate software to resolve a .bit domain name because .bit is not officially registered in the current DNS system. The resolution, in this case, requires installing a browser extension.
Previously OneName, their decentralized DNS creates a decentralized website on a Bitcoin blockchain. It removes the third parties managing ID systems, databases, and web servers. It combines DNS with a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
- Register a name and control it only as its owner.
- No attacks, DNS service denials, hacking, or censorships of individual websites.
#3) Ethereum Name Service
Their domain name service integrates blockchain-based DNS with the traditional DNS system. Thus it allows you to combine the benefits of both.
- Allows owners of traditional domains who can prove it with a DNSSEC registration, to transfer it to the blockchain DNS service.
- Register a domain using a .eth extension via an auction process.
- It combines the advantages of blockchain-based and non-blockchain DNS.
- .kred, .xyz and .luxe, .pid extensions.
- The top domain sold for $3.5 million, 300,000 registrations, $28 million in deposits after 18 months.
Website: Ethereum Name Service
Handshake relies on network participants to validate DNS zones. This assures a secure and resilient system. Further, the root level of the DNS is managed by a naming protocol.
- When a name is registered, the cryptographic key under the owner’s control can write ordered records.
- Handshake uses its own blockchain to decentralize and order events.
Nebulis uses the Ethereum blockchain network to create a decentralized DNS. It also uses Interplanetary Filesystem (IPFS) to decentralize the web by decentralizing the web servers.
- Domain names are stored, updated, and resolved on the Ethereum blockchain, making it difficult to hack websites and to launch man-in-the-middle attacks and denial of service attacks.
#6) Dot BIT
Dot BIT blockchain DNS ensures that the DNS files and system resides on your computer instead of being hosted and controlled by private bodies, governments, and other corporations.
- Users can register and control their domains at will.
- Bitcoin blockchain ensures that all network participants have the same copies of DNS data on their machines, meaning it is hard to illegitimately change the DNS data.
Website: Dot BIT
Emercoin – as an alternative to DNS
Emercoin uses a Proof of Stake system that combines both proofs of work and proof of ownership systems. Emercoin provides a distributed DNS called EMCDNS EMCSSL, free Secure Sockets Layer certificates ENUMER – a distributed database for storing VOIP addresses on a Decentralized torrent tracker.
- It supports 4 domain zones with the ability to support any zone.
- DNS is not prone to censorship and blocking.
- Fully decentralized – information cannot be substituted or blocked.
- Users can specify the domain rental period at the registration.
- Users can terminate a domain by deleting it from the blockchain without having to wait for the expiry of the lease period.
Peername and its plugin for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox.
The DNS allows for easy resolving of .bit, .emc, .coin, .lib, and .bazar domains and redirecting of NXT aliases. It is based on NXT, EmerCoin, and Namecoin cryptocurrencies.
- Allows you to register .emc .bazar .lib .coin domain names at the cost of $7 per domain name which is costly when compared to its alternatives.
#9) Blockchain DNS For Firefox
It uses the BDNS public web API to resolve the domain names based on blockchain name systems.
- Currently supports .emc, .coin, .bazar, .lib, and .bi TLDs.
- You can easily visit domain names from OpenNIC – a community-driven domain authority with a more traditional layout, in addition to Namecoin and Emercoin networks.
Website: Blockchain DNS For Firefox
#10) FrigGate For Chrome And Other Browsers
Like with other blockchain DNS services, you get uninterrupted Internet with this one and can unblock blocked sites. It checks the speed of access to the site and when slow, it connects through a proxy.
- It supports TOR (.onion) sites and EmerDNS.
- It encrypts traffic and routes it through VPN servers.
- The extension is an advanced analog of ZenMate, Hola, Stealthy, and Browsec.
#11) NEM Blockchain DNS Extension
This DNS extension allows the users to browse websites with .nem extension, which are the domain names from the NEM blockchain name systems.
- Easy to install on a browser without having to download the software.
- Built on the blockchain.
- Records can be updated easily by the domain owner.
- No possibility for censorship.
Website: NEM Blockchain DNS Extension
#12) Unstoppable Domains
This service allows you to launch a non-censorable website stored in a user’s wallet just like the cryptocurrencies. The domain can be pointed to the content located on a decentralized storage network.
- Works as a Chrome extension that carries the name resolution. Registration of domain names is managed by the users.
- Is transferrable, searchable on Google and other search engines.
Website: Unstoppable Domains
#13) Aloaha Blockchain DNS
The Aloaha blockchain DNS server can be used in a number of things including publishing distributed storage content and publishing other kinds of information.
This blockchain-based DNS service can be used in various ways including validating transactions on the blockchain, checking balances on crypto wallets quickly, a dynamic blockchain-based DNS system; validating blockchain-based certificates and contracts, checking the validity of vouchers; and publishing routing information.
- Domains cannot be censored.
- Software is open-source.
Benefits Of Blockchain DNS Over Traditional ICANN TLDs
- Helps to unlock alternative models for online marketplaces. As it is possible to identify scam vendors on the online marketplaces, it becomes easier to follow them. Data and information are encrypted and transactions are more secure on the blockchain.
- Privacy and security
- Censorship resistance
- Reliability and availability
- Free and open-source software
- Connects/integrates with DNS anonymity networks such as Tor and P2P.
- Every node in the server is equal.
- Only owners can make changes to the current records.
- Not prone to hacking.
- Ability to support new needs such as asset value exchange through tokenization, dApps, and Web 3.0 or the Internet of Value.
Blockchain DNS allows the users to register, manage, and resolve domain names on the blockchain-based domain name systems such as .bit, .bazar, .coin among others.
The DNS files are encrypted and thus are harder to hack, modify, delete, or corrupt. They also cannot be interrupted by way of censorship by governments. The lookup tables are shared across a distributed peer-to-peer network on the blockchain.
Using a blockchain DNS system together with the Interplanetary File Systems and other systems that allow web owners to hosts Internet files on the blockchain, make websites more secure, private, hack-resistant, and resistant to censorship-resistant, reliable and available, and only owners can make changes to current records and transfer domains.
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An important way to use blockchain DNS is by downloading software on your computer and the others are by using extensions and plugins on Internet browsers.