How Do I Make My Cisco Router a DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

A Cisco router can be configured to act as a DNS server, allowing it to resolve domain names into IP addresses for clients on the network. This can be useful in scenarios where a dedicated DNS server is not available or when you want to have more control over the DNS resolution process.

To make your Cisco router a DNS server, follow these steps:

Step 1: Accessing the Router’s Command Line Interface

To configure your Cisco router as a DNS server, you need to access its Command Line Interface (CLI). This is done through a terminal emulation program such as PuTTY. Once connected, enter the privileged EXEC mode by typing enable and providing the necessary credentials.

Step 2: Configuring DNS Parameters

Next, we need to configure the necessary DNS parameters on the router. Enter global configuration mode by typing configure terminal. Then, specify the domain name for which the router will provide DNS resolution using the ip domain-name command followed by your desired domain name.

To enable the router to resolve domain names, we need to define one or more name servers that it will query for DNS resolution. Use the ip name-server command followed by each name server’s IP address. You can specify multiple name servers by repeating this command.

Step 3: Enabling DNS Service

In order for the router to start acting as a DNS server, we need to enable its built-in DNS service. Switch to global configuration mode and enter ip dns server. This command activates the Cisco IOS Integrated Domain Name System (DNS) Server feature on your router.

Step 4: Verifying Configuration

To verify that your router is now functioning as a DNS server, you can use the show ip dns server statistics command. This will display statistics about the DNS server operation, including the number of queries received and responses sent.

Step 5: Testing DNS Resolution

To test whether your Cisco router is successfully resolving domain names, you can use the ping command followed by a domain name. If the router can resolve the domain name and obtain an IP address, it will respond to the ping request.

You have now successfully configured your Cisco router as a DNS server! Clients on your network can now use this router for DNS resolution by specifying its IP address as their primary DNS server.

Note: It’s important to remember that using a router as a DNS server may not be suitable for large networks or critical environments. In such cases, it is recommended to use dedicated DNS servers with more advanced features and scalability.


In this tutorial, we learned how to make a Cisco router a DNS server. We covered the steps required to configure DNS parameters, enable the DNS service, and verify its operation. By following these steps, you can provide DNS resolution capabilities to clients on your network using your Cisco router.

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