Is DNS Same as Name Server?
The terms DNS (Domain Name System) and name server are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. Understanding the distinction between these concepts is important for anyone working with websites and domains.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a decentralized system that translates domain names into IP addresses. In simpler terms, it acts as a phone book for the internet, allowing you to type a domain name like www.example.com into your browser instead of remembering the corresponding IP address.
How does DNS work?
- Your computer or device sends a request to a DNS resolver (usually provided by your internet service provider).
- The resolver checks its cache for the corresponding IP address. If it’s not found, it contacts other DNS servers to find the address.
- The DNS server responsible for the domain returns the IP address to the resolver.
- The resolver then provides your computer/device with the IP address, allowing it to establish a connection with the requested website.
What is a Name Server?
A name server (also known as an authoritative name server) is part of the larger DNS system. It is responsible for storing and maintaining information about specific domain names within a zone. Each domain has one or more name servers associated with it.
What does a Name Server do?
- A name server receives requests from resolvers to translate domain names into IP addresses.
- If it has the requested information in its zone file, it returns the corresponding IP address to the resolver.
- If it doesn’t have the information, it contacts other name servers to find the answer.
- Name servers also handle other DNS-related tasks such as managing DNS records, handling email routing, and providing information about subdomains.
Key Differences between DNS and Name Server:
- Refers to the entire system that translates domain names into IP addresses.
- Consists of multiple interconnected servers worldwide.
- Provides a hierarchical structure for domain names.
- Resolvers interact with DNS servers to resolve domain names.
- Part of the DNS system responsible for storing and maintaining information about specific domain names within a zone.
- Serves as an authoritative source of information for a particular domain or set of domains.
- Handles requests from resolvers and returns IP addresses for the requested domains, if available.
In summary, while DNS is the overall system that translates domain names into IP addresses, name servers are specific components within that system. Name servers store and provide information about individual domains, acting as authoritative sources for those domains. Understanding the distinction between these two terms is essential when managing websites and domains.