What DNS Server Means?


Heather Bennett

What DNS Server Means?

When you browse the internet, you often type in web addresses like “www.example.com” to access websites. But have you ever wondered how your computer knows which website to connect to when you enter a URL? This is where the Domain Name System (DNS) comes into play.

DNS Basics

The DNS is like a phonebook for the internet. It translates human-readable domain names, such as “example.com,” into machine-readable IP addresses, such as “” IP addresses are unique numerical identifiers that computers use to communicate with each other over the internet.

How DNS Works

When you enter a URL in your web browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to resolve the domain name into an IP address. This process typically happens behind the scenes and is transparent to users.

DNS Resolution Process:

  • Your computer first checks its local DNS cache for a previously resolved IP address for the requested domain name.
  • If there’s no cached record, your computer sends a query to your configured DNS server (usually provided by your Internet Service Provider) or any other specified DNS server.
  • The DNS server receives the query and searches its own cache for the requested domain name’s IP address. If found, it returns the result to your computer.
  • If the DNS server doesn’t have a cached record either, it starts resolving from root servers and follows a hierarchical process until it finds the authoritative DNS server for that domain.
  • The authoritative DNS server holds information specific to the requested domain name and returns its IP address back to your computer via intermediate servers.
  • Your computer receives the IP address and can now establish a connection with the web server hosting the website.

Benefits of DNS Servers

DNS servers play a crucial role in internet connectivity and offer several advantages:

  • Improved Performance: By storing frequently accessed IP addresses in their cache, DNS servers can provide faster responses to subsequent requests, reducing latency.
  • Load Balancing: DNS servers can distribute traffic across multiple servers to ensure optimal performance and prevent overloading.
  • Fault Tolerance: If one DNS server fails or becomes unavailable, others can still handle requests, ensuring uninterrupted service.
  • Content Filtering: DNS servers can be used to block access to certain websites or types of content by not resolving their domain names.


The DNS server is an essential component of the internet infrastructure that translates domain names into IP addresses. It enables you to access websites by simply typing in their URL, while also offering various benefits such as improved performance, load balancing, fault tolerance, and content filtering. Understanding how DNS works is fundamental for anyone interested in networking and web technologies.

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