Is DNS the Same as Name Server?


Heather Bennett

Is DNS the Same as Name Server?

When it comes to understanding web hosting and domain management, two terms that often come up are DNS (Domain Name System) and name server. While they are related, they serve different functions in the process of connecting your domain name to your website. Let’s take a closer look at what each term means and how they differ.


DNS, or Domain Name System, is like a phonebook for the internet. It translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. This translation is essential because computers communicate with each other using IP addresses, which consist of long strings of numbers.

For example, when you type “” into your web browser’s address bar, your computer contacts a DNS resolver (usually provided by your ISP) to find out the IP address associated with that domain name. The resolver then queries authoritative DNS servers to obtain the correct IP address for the given domain.

Name Server

A name server, on the other hand, is a specialized server that handles queries related to a specific domain name or group of domain names. It is responsible for storing and managing the DNS records for those domains.

When you register a domain name with a registrar, you need to specify the name servers that will handle DNS queries for your domain. These name servers are typically provided by your web hosting provider or can be set up independently using services like Cloudflare or Amazon Route 53.

Differences between DNS and Name Server

  • DNS: The overall system that translates domain names into IP addresses.
  • Name Server: A server that stores and manages DNS records for specific domains.

While DNS is a broader term that encompasses the entire system for translating domain names, a name server is a specific server responsible for handling DNS queries for a particular domain or set of domains.


In conclusion, DNS and name servers are closely related but serve different purposes. DNS is the system that translates domain names into IP addresses, while name servers are the servers responsible for storing and managing DNS records for specific domains. Understanding the distinction between these terms is crucial when managing your domain’s DNS settings and ensuring your website connects correctly to your domain name.

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