...so what exactly happens when you type in an web address and hit enter?

this is my (very limited and quite possibly wrong) understanding of it so far-

you type in a web address, say www.kirupa.com, and somehow your computer hooks up with some domain name company (versign in this case since it’s a .com) which gives you the IP address, which your computer then uses to establish a connection with the actual server that’s hosting the website (in this case, these lovely forums)

so uh, is that somewhat vague summary i’ve given so far accurate? if so, then how does your computer get the IP address from verisign- does my machine have the IP address for some domain name checking server stored on it, which my machine passes the string “kirupa.com” to and gets the IP address returned? Or does my machine just pass that string along to my service provider or something and they take care of establishing the connection? Also… how exactly does a computer establish a connection with a server by using the IP address; how does it use those numbers to track down the server?