What is Domain Name Server (DNS) and How it Works?

what is domain name server

Imagine, You don’t have any phone book and you will have to keep everyone’s mobile number in your brain. Every time a person calls you from a number, you can’t write it anywhere. The only option available is to Remember. Of course, most of you would feel irritated. This is a natural tendency of Humans that we can’t remember numbers easily. So we use the phone book of our smartphone to save contact numbers.

The same applies to the Internet. Every smartphone, computer, laptop or any other device connected to the Internet has its own IP Address. An IP Adress or Internet Protocol Address is a 32-bit numeric logical address assigned to every device on the Internet. Even the websites have their own IP Address.

Whenever you type google.com in the address bar of your browser, your browser doesn’t even understand what this google.com is. So, to visit any website over the Internet, your ISP first resolves it into its corresponding IP Adress. Now, here the concept of Domain Name Server or Domain Name System comes in.

What is Domain Name Server (DNS)?

Domain Name Servers are very similar to a phone book which contains all the public domains and their corresponding IP Addresses. DNS is an internet service that translates the domain name into IP addresses.

Whenever you request for google.com or any other website, your request first goes to DNS servers. Then, DNS server finds the corresponding IP Address associated with that domain and forward your request to the website server or hosting and finally the website loads into your browser.

Also Read: Top 20 Most Useless Websites Ever!

Sometimes, even after so many attempts, your website doesn’t load into the browser or takes too much time to load. This is because there are a huge number of websites on the Internet which updates or changes daily. This is quite a tedious task to maintain and update all these records in the DNS server.

What Happens When Domain Name Doesn’t Resolve into IP Address?

So, It may happen that the DNS doesn’t know the IP address of the website you want to visit. In these cases, the first level DNS (generally maintained by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Wireless carriers) asks for IP address from Root level DNS. But sometimes, Root Level DNS also fails to resolve the domain name and again transfer the request to Top Level Domain Servers (TLDs). 

It might sound confusing but this is how the whole DNS system works. Now, without going into further details, I would like to explain the concept using a simple figure given below.

what is domain name server and how it works

There are several public DNS services available which you can use in case your websites are not resolving in one go and you are not happy with the default DNS of your ISP. Google also provides public DNS8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

How to change DNS Address?

  • First Press Win+R and type ncpa.cpl, this will open the Network connection window.
  • Double click on the network whose DNS addresses you want to change.
  • Then go to Properties.
  • Lastly, open Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and change Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 respectively.

what is domain name server and how it works

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Subham Kapiswe

My world revolves around Technology. Being interested in smartphones and computers, the word technology has always fascinated me. I love to share my tech knowledge on my blog and YouTube channel. I am an Engineer by Education, an ambivert kind of a person, friendly in nature and an Optimist by choice.

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