What Does DNS Server Do?


Heather Bennett

What Does DNS Server Do?

In the vast world of the internet, where billions of websites exist, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information. Thankfully, there are systems in place to help us navigate this vast network.

One such system is the Domain Name System (DNS) and its servers. In this article, we’ll explore what DNS servers are and why they are essential for internet communication.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a decentralized naming system that translates human-readable domain names, like “www.example.com,” into machine-readable IP addresses, like “” This translation allows computers to communicate with each other over the internet.

How Does DNS Work?

When you type a domain name into your web browser’s address bar and press enter, your computer initiates a series of requests to translate that domain name into an IP address:

  1. Your computer first checks its local DNS cache. This cache stores recently accessed domain names and their corresponding IP addresses, which helps in faster retrieval.
  2. If the IP address is not found in the local cache or has expired, your computer sends a request to your Internet Service Provider (ISP)‘s DNS server.
  3. If the ISP’s server doesn’t have the IP address stored, it forwards the request to other authoritative DNS servers.
  4. The authoritative DNS servers store specific domain records and respond with the corresponding IP address if found.
  5. The resolved IP address is then returned back through each server until it reaches your computer.

The Role of DNS Servers

Now that we understand the basic process of how DNS works, let’s delve into the role of DNS servers:

  • 1. Name Resolution: The primary function of a DNS server is to resolve domain names into IP addresses. When you enter a domain name in your browser, the DNS server plays a crucial role in finding the corresponding IP address.
  • 2. Caching: DNS servers store recently accessed domain names and their corresponding IP addresses in their cache.

    This caching mechanism helps to improve the overall performance and speed up subsequent requests.

  • 3. Load Balancing: Many websites use multiple servers to handle high traffic loads. DNS servers can distribute incoming requests across these servers, ensuring efficient load balancing and preventing overload on any single server.
  • 4. Security: DNS servers also play a role in security by providing features like DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions), which authenticates and verifies the integrity of DNS data, preventing malicious attacks like cache poisoning.


The Domain Name System (DNS) forms a critical part of our internet infrastructure. Without it, accessing websites by their domain names would be impossible. Through its translation mechanism and extensive network of servers, DNS allows us to navigate the internet with ease and ensures that our requests reach the correct destination.

In summary, DNS servers provide essential services such as name resolution, caching, load balancing, and security enhancements for smooth internet communication.

So next time you type a URL into your web browser, remember that behind the scenes, there is a complex system of DNS servers working tirelessly to make it all possible!

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