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In computer networking, reverse DNS lookup or reverse DNS resolution (rDNS) is the determination of a domain name that is associated with a given IP address using the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet.

Computer networks use the Domain Name System to determine the IP address associated with a domain name. This process is also known as forward DNS resolution. Reverse DNS lookup is the inverse process of this, the resolution of an IP address to its designated domain name.

The reverse DNS database of the Internet is rooted in the Address and Routing Parameter Area (arpa) top-level domain of the Internet. IPv4 uses the in-addr.arpa domain and the ip6.arpa domain is delegated for IPv6. The process of reverse resolving an IP address uses the pointer DNS record type (PTR record).

Internet standards documents (RFC 1033, RFC 1912 Section 2.1) specify that "Every Internet-reachable host should have a name" and that such names match with a reverse pointer record.


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