Is DNS the Same as Server Name?


Angela Bailey

Is DNS the Same as Server Name?

When it comes to understanding the workings of the internet, two terms that often get confused are DNS and server name. While they may seem similar, they are not the same thing. In this article, we will explore the differences between DNS and server name and how they function together to make the internet work.

DNS – Domain Name System

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. It acts as a translator between human-friendly domain names (such as and their corresponding IP addresses (such as Without DNS, accessing websites would require remembering complex strings of numbers instead of simple domain names.

The DNS system consists of a network of servers that store and manage domain name records. When you type a website address into your browser’s address bar, your computer contacts a DNS server to find out the IP address associated with that domain name.

Server Name

On the other hand, a server name refers to the specific name assigned to a particular server in a network. It is used to identify and distinguish one server from another within an internal or external network.

A server name can be any unique identifier chosen by the system administrator or network manager. It could be something descriptive like “webserver1” or “mailserver2”. The server name is primarily used for internal purposes within networks and does not directly translate to an accessible URL on the internet.

DNS vs Server Name – How They Work Together

To understand how DNS and server names work together, let’s consider an example:

  • You want to access a website called
  • Your computer first contacts a DNS server to resolve the domain name into an IP address.
  • The DNS server looks up its records and finds the IP address associated with www.
  • Your computer receives the IP address (let’s say it’s 192.
  • Your computer then sends a request to the server with the corresponding IP address (192.1) to retrieve the website’s content.

In this example, the server name is not directly involved in the initial step of translating the domain name to an IP address. However, once your computer has obtained the IP address, it uses that information to communicate with the specific server identified by its server name (e.g., webserver1).


In conclusion, DNS and server names are not the same thing. DNS is responsible for translating human-friendly domain names into their corresponding IP addresses, while server names are used for internal identification within networks.

Understanding this distinction is essential for anyone working with network infrastructure or navigating the complexities of web development. By grasping how DNS and server names work together, you can gain a better understanding of how data is transmitted over the internet and how websites are accessed by users.

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