The internet is often our refuge for everything–work, entertainment, leisure. Shopping on Amazon, catching your favourite shows on Netflix, or listening to your favourite tunes on Soundcloud, the internet also provides tools to people of various vocations, like designers and writers, crypto-traders, etc.
Which is why the thought of its absence makes us shudder.
Well, according to a News18 report, that might happen for the next 48 hours, and here’s why you shouldn’t get worried.
Here’s what you should know.
1. The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be updating the cryptographic key that protects the Domain Name System (DNS), which can also be considered the world-wide web’s address book.
2. The ICANN based in Los Angeles, California, is responsible for maintaining the registry of domain names and IP addresses on the internet.
3. The DNS addresses can be considered as an address book for the internet. It works by understanding the web addresses we punch into the web browsers of our PCs, laptops and phones.
For example, if you punch in the address of a website into your browser, it matches the address in the database with the correct domain and IP address–directing you to the correct website.
Each web domain is listed in this directory, and this is how web traffic is managed and directed accurately.
4. The ICANN needs to update encryption keys for the DNS addresses, keeping in mind the ever increasing and changing security threats on the internet.
5. The DNS and their linked web pages will be unavailable during the process of updating. It will be as if those pages don’t exist, for that brief duration. Some pages on some domains could be accessible, but they may load very slowly.
6. The internet cannot be completely dead. There can be no complete shutdown of the world wide web. Certain websites, web pages, web-based services and resources will be unavailable for short durations of time, in batches. Once new security measures are updated and authenticated, things will go back to normal.
7. Most websites are cached, so changes or breaks in content during this update period will be noticeable for a couple of days after the encryption update.
8. As per ICANN estimates, only 15% of internet users around the world will be impacted by the shutdown. That would still amount to around 36 million people, according to data shared by the organisation in News18.
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9. If you have connectivity, there is nothing to worry about. If you have issues with certain websites or web pages, restart your home router. This will cause the router to access the latest DNS data updated by your Internet Service Provider.
10. If the connectivity problem persists, it could mean your internet company is using an outdated DNS, which is something they have to address immediately.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)