How Do I Set Up a Second DNS Server?


Angela Bailey

Setting up a second DNS server can be a crucial step in ensuring the stability and reliability of your network. By having a backup DNS server, you can minimize downtime and ensure that your users can always access your website or other online services. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of setting up a second DNS server.

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. When you type a URL into your web browser, the DNS server is what allows your computer to locate the correct IP address for that domain.

By default, most networks have a primary DNS server configured. However, having only one DNS server can leave you vulnerable to disruptions or failures. That’s why setting up a second DNS server is highly recommended.

Step 1: Choose Your Second DNS Server

The first step is to select the second DNS server that you want to use. This can be another physical server in your network or a cloud-based service provided by third-party companies.

If you choose another physical server:

  • Step 1a: Ensure that the chosen server meets the minimum system requirements for running a DNS server.
  • Step 1b: Install the operating system of your choice on the new server.
  • Step 1c: Configure network settings and assign it a static IP address.

If you choose to use a cloud-based service:

  • Step 1a: Research and select a reputable cloud-based DNS provider.
  • Step 1b: Sign up for an account and follow their instructions for setting up a new DNS server.

Step 2: Install and Configure DNS Server Software

Once you have your second server ready, it’s time to install and configure the DNS server software. There are several options available, such as BIND, Microsoft DNS Server, or PowerDNS. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

Note: The installation process may vary depending on the software you choose. Consult the documentation provided by the software vendor for specific instructions.

If you choose BIND:

  • Step 2a: Download and install BIND from the official website.
  • Step 2b: Configure BIND by editing its configuration file (usually named named.conf).
  • Step 2c: Add your domain information to the zone files.

If you choose a different DNS server software, refer to their documentation for installation and configuration steps.

Step 3: Update DNS Settings

With your second DNS server up and running, it’s time to update your network’s DNS settings to include this new server. This can usually be done through your router or DHCP server configuration.

Note: If you’re unsure how to update your network’s DNS settings, consult the documentation of your router or DHCP server manufacturer for guidance.

Step 4: Test and Monitor

The final step is to test and monitor the performance of your new setup. Use online tools or command-line utilities like nslookup or dig to verify that both of your DNS servers are responding correctly when queried for domain names within your network.

Regularly monitoring your DNS servers will help you identify and resolve any potential issues promptly.


Setting up a second DNS server is an essential step in ensuring the reliability and resilience of your network. By following these steps and properly configuring your second DNS server, you can minimize disruptions and provide continuous access to your online services or website.

Remember to regularly maintain and update both of your DNS servers to ensure they remain secure and up-to-date with the latest software patches.

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