Is DNS a Name Server?


Scott Campbell

Is DNS a Name Server?

When it comes to understanding how the internet works, the Domain Name System (DNS) and name servers play a crucial role. However, it’s important to clarify that while DNS and name servers are related, they are not the same thing.

DNS: The Backbone of the Internet

The DNS is like the phonebook of the internet. It translates human-readable domain names, such as, into IP addresses, which are numerical identifiers used by computers to find and communicate with each other on the internet. Without DNS, we would have to remember and type in long strings of numbers instead of simple domain names.

How does DNS work?

The process starts when you enter a domain name into your web browser. The browser sends a request to a DNS resolver or a local DNS server, asking for the IP address associated with that domain name. If the local server doesn’t have the information cached, it will query other DNS servers in a hierarchical manner until it finds the authoritative name server for that domain.

Name Servers: The Guardians of Domain Names

Name servers are an essential component of the DNS infrastructure. They store and manage information about specific domains and their corresponding IP addresses. Think of them as guardians who hold records for various websites.

Types of Name Servers

There are two main types of name servers:

  • Authoritative Name Servers: These servers have complete information about specific domains and their IP addresses. When queried by a resolver, they provide authoritative answers.
  • Recursive Name Servers: Also known as caching resolvers, these servers receive queries from clients and fetch information from authoritative name servers. They store the information in their cache to speed up future lookups.

How DNS and Name Servers Work Together

DNS and name servers work hand in hand to ensure that users can access websites using domain names. When a DNS resolver receives a query for a domain’s IP address, it contacts the appropriate name server to obtain the information. The name server then responds with the correct IP address, allowing the resolver to deliver the requested webpage to the user.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while DNS and name servers are closely interconnected, they serve different functions. DNS is the system that translates domain names into IP addresses, while name servers store and manage information about specific domains. Understanding how these components work together is crucial for anyone looking to navigate and troubleshoot issues on the internet.

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