Is Name Server and DNS Same?


Heather Bennett

Is Name Server and DNS Same?

When it comes to managing websites and domains, it’s important to understand the difference between a name server and DNS (Domain Name System). While they are related, they serve different purposes in the functioning of a website.

What is a Name Server?

A name server, also known as a domain name server or DNS server, is responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. It acts as a directory for your website’s domain and provides information on where your website is hosted.

  • Primary Name Server: The primary name server is the main point of contact for your domain. It holds the authoritative information about your domain and responds to queries regarding your website’s location.
  • Secondary Name Server: The secondary name server acts as a backup to the primary server. It helps distribute the load of incoming requests and ensures that your website remains accessible even if the primary server goes down.

What is DNS?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed database that stores various types of information related to domain names. It translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing users to access websites by typing in easy-to-remember names instead of complex numerical IP addresses.

DNS operates through a hierarchical structure, with multiple levels of servers responsible for different parts of the translation process. When you enter a domain name in your browser, it contacts its configured DNS resolver (usually provided by your ISP), which then communicates with different DNS servers to resolve the IP address associated with that domain name.

DNS Components:

  • Root Servers: These servers are at the top of the DNS hierarchy and provide information about the authoritative name servers for top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .org, and .net.
  • Top-Level Domain (TLD) Servers: These servers store information about domain names within specific TLDs. For example, the .com TLD server would have information about websites with domain names ending in .com.
  • Authoritative Name Servers: These servers store the DNS records for specific domains.

    They are responsible for providing IP addresses associated with domain names.

  • Resolver: The resolver is a client-side component that communicates with DNS servers to resolve domain names into IP addresses. It is typically provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Name Server vs. DNS: The Difference

The main difference between a name server and DNS lies in their roles and functionalities. A name server is a specific type of server that provides information about the location of your website’s IP address. On the other hand, DNS is a distributed database system consisting of multiple servers responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses.

In simple terms, a name server is one part of the larger DNS system. It helps connect your website’s domain name to its corresponding IP address by providing the necessary address information to clients or resolvers.

In conclusion,

A name server and DNS are related but distinct components in managing and resolving domain names. While a name server provides information about your website’s IP address, DNS is responsible for translating domain names into these IP addresses through a complex hierarchical structure involving various servers.

Understanding this distinction can help you effectively manage your website’s hosting and ensure its accessibility on the internet.

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