What DNS Should a DNS Server Use?


Heather Bennett

What DNS Should a DNS Server Use?

When it comes to setting up a DNS server, one of the key decisions you need to make is which DNS resolver to use. A DNS resolver is responsible for resolving domain names into IP addresses and plays a crucial role in the overall performance and reliability of your DNS infrastructure.

What is a DNS Resolver?

A DNS resolver is a software component that communicates with other DNS servers to resolve domain names. It receives queries from clients, such as web browsers or email servers, and returns the corresponding IP address.

The Importance of Choosing the Right DNS Resolver

The choice of a DNS resolver can significantly impact the performance and security of your network. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a DNS resolver:

  • Speed: Look for a resolver that can provide fast response times. This ensures that your users experience minimal delays when accessing websites or other online services.
  • Reliability: A reliable resolver should have high availability and be able to handle large volumes of queries without experiencing downtime or performance issues.
  • Security: Security should be a top priority when choosing a resolver.

    Look for one that supports features like DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) to protect against various types of attacks, including cache poisoning and man-in-the-middle attacks.

  • Anycast Support: Anycast is a technique that allows multiple servers to share the same IP address, providing redundancy and improving overall network performance. Consider using a resolver that supports anycast if high availability is critical for your infrastructure.

Popular DNS Resolvers

There are several DNS resolvers available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some popular options:

1. Google Public DNS

Google Public DNS is a free, globally available resolver that focuses on speed and security. It supports DNSSEC and offers robust protection against DDoS attacks. Google maintains a large infrastructure, ensuring high availability and low latency for users around the world.

2. Cloudflare DNS

Cloudflare DNS is another popular choice known for its emphasis on privacy and security. It blocks access to malicious websites and provides fast response times through its vast network of data centers.

3. OpenDNS

OpenDNS offers both free and paid resolver options. It provides customizable content filtering and protection against phishing attacks. OpenDNS has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to manage settings and monitor network activity.

Configuring Your DNS Server

To configure your DNS server to use a specific resolver, you need to update the resolv.conf file on your server. This file contains the IP addresses of one or more resolvers that your server should use for DNS resolution.

To add a resolver to your resolv.conf file, simply add the following line:

nameserver [IP_ADDRESS]

Replace [IP_ADDRESS] with the IP address of your chosen resolver.

In Conclusion

The choice of a DNS resolver is an important decision when setting up a DNS server. Consider factors such as speed, reliability, security, and anycast support when evaluating different options. Popular resolvers like Google Public DNS, Cloudflare DNS, and OpenDNS offer a range of features and can help enhance the performance and security of your DNS infrastructure.

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