How Do I Troubleshoot DNS Server Issues?


Heather Bennett

Are you facing issues with your DNS server? Don’t worry, troubleshooting DNS server problems can be easier than you think.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to diagnose and resolve common DNS server issues. Let’s dive in!

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. When you type a website’s URL into your web browser, the DNS server helps your computer locate the corresponding IP address so that it can establish a connection and load the webpage.

Common Symptoms of DNS Server Issues

If you’re experiencing any of the following problems, it’s likely that there’s an issue with your DNS server:

  • Website not loading: You are unable to access certain websites or all websites fail to load.
  • Slow internet connection: Websites take longer than usual to load.
  • “Server not found” error: Your web browser displays an error message stating that the server could not be found.
  • Inconsistent website access: Websites intermittently fail to load or take longer to load.

Troubleshooting Steps

Step 1: Check Your Internet Connection

The first step in troubleshooting DNS server issues is to ensure that your internet connection is stable. Verify whether other devices connected to the same network are experiencing similar problems. If they are, contact your internet service provider for assistance.

Step 2: Flush DNS Cache

DNS cache stores information about previously visited websites. Flushing the DNS cache can help resolve issues related to outdated or incorrect information being stored. To flush the DNS cache:

  1. Open the Command Prompt on Windows or Terminal on macOS.
  2. Type ipconfig /flushdns (for Windows) or sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder (for macOS).
  3. Press Enter to execute the command.

Step 3: Change Your DNS Servers

If flushing the DNS cache didn’t resolve the issue, consider changing your DNS servers. Your internet service provider’s default DNS servers may be experiencing problems.

You can switch to public DNS servers like Google DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or Cloudflare DNS (1.1.1 and 1.0.1). Here’s how:

  1. Open your network settings.
  2. Navigate to the DNS server settings.
  3. Replace the existing DNS server addresses with the new ones (e.g., Google DNS or Cloudflare DNS).

Step 4: Disable Firewall or Security Software Temporarily

In some cases, firewall or security software may block your computer’s access to certain DNS servers, causing issues with connectivity. Temporarily disable any firewall or security software installed on your computer and check if that resolves the problem.

Step 5: Restart Your Router and Computer

A simple restart can often fix network-related issues by refreshing your network connection settings. Start by restarting your router, followed by restarting your computer.

Step 6: Contact Your Internet Service Provider

If all else fails and you are still experiencing DNS server issues, it’s recommended to reach out to your internet service provider for further assistance. They can help diagnose and resolve any network-related problems.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to identify and resolve common DNS server issues. Remember, a well-functioning DNS server is crucial for a seamless browsing experience. Happy troubleshooting!

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