DNS Root (Apex) Domain vs Subdomain

In the context of DNS and websites, “cisco.com” and “www.cisco.com” are both domain names, but they have slightly different uses.

  1. cisco.com: This is the root or apex domain, often called the “naked” or “bare” domain. It is the most general address for the organization online. Typically, the root domain points to the organization’s main web server, but it can also be configured to redirect users to specific subdomains, like www.
  2. www.cisco.com: This is a specific subdomain of cisco.com. In this case, “www” is the subdomain. Traditionally, the “www” subdomain has been used to indicate that a domain name is part of the World Wide Web, and it often points to the organization’s main website.

However, how these two addresses behave can depend on how Cisco has configured their DNS records. For example, they might have set up their DNS so that both “cisco.com” and “www.cisco.com” point to the same website, or they could point to different web servers.

It’s also worth noting that some organizations choose to redirect their root domain to the “www” subdomain. For example, if you enter “cisco.com” into your web browser, it might automatically redirect you to “www.cisco.com“. This is done for various reasons, including load balancing and cookie management.

Additionally, each of these domain names can have different DNS records associated with them. For instance, “cisco.com” might have MX records (for email servers) associated with it, while “www.cisco.com” might only have an A record (for the website’s IP address).

In summary, while “cisco.com” and “www.cisco.com” might often lead you to the same place, they are technically different domain names that can be configured to behave differently.