Is DNS and Name Server the Same?


Larry Thompson

Is DNS and Name Server the Same?

When it comes to managing domain names and directing internet traffic, two terms that often come up are DNS (Domain Name System) and name server. Are they the same thing or do they serve different purposes? Let’s delve into the details to understand their roles and how they relate to each other.

DNS Explained

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phonebook for the internet. It translates human-friendly domain names into IP addresses, which are unique identifiers for devices connected to a network. For example, when you type “” into your web browser, the DNS translates it into an IP address like “,” allowing your browser to connect to the correct server hosting the website.

Name Servers in Action

Name servers, on the other hand, are specialized servers responsible for keeping track of DNS records for a particular domain name. These records include information such as IP addresses associated with different subdomains, email server settings, and other important data necessary for proper functioning of a website or email service.

When you register a domain name with a registrar or hosting provider, you typically need to specify the name servers that will handle DNS requests for your domain. These name servers then store and distribute your domain’s DNS records across their network.

The Relationship Between DNS and Name Servers

So while DNS is a system that translates domain names into IP addresses globally, name servers are part of that system responsible for managing specific domains’ DNS records.

In simple terms, think of DNS as an entire infrastructure that allows computers around the world to communicate with each other using human-readable domain names instead of numerical IP addresses. Within this infrastructure, name servers are like individual branches that manage the records for specific domain names.


In summary, DNS and name servers are not the same thing, but they work together to ensure that domain names can be translated into IP addresses correctly. Understanding this distinction is crucial when managing your own domain or troubleshooting any issues related to DNS or name server configurations.


  • DNS is a system that translates domain names into IP addresses.
  • Name servers are specialized servers that manage DNS records for specific domains.
  • Name servers are part of the overall DNS infrastructure.

By grasping the relationship between DNS and name servers, you’ll have a better understanding of how the internet functions and be better equipped to handle any technical challenges that may arise.

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