What Function Does a DNS Server Preform?


Angela Bailey

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. It performs a vital function by translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses, which are necessary for computers to communicate with each other over the internet.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is like a phonebook of the internet that helps in converting easy-to-understand domain names (such as www.example.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (such as Instead of remembering complex IP addresses, users can simply type in a domain name into their web browser, and the DNS server takes care of the rest.

How does DNS work?

When you enter a URL into your web browser, it sends a request to your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) DNS server. The DNS server then begins its work by searching its database for the corresponding IP address associated with the domain name you entered.

If the requested information is not available in its cache memory, the DNS server contacts other servers in a hierarchical manner until it finds the correct IP address. This process ensures that your request reaches the correct destination on the internet.

  • DNS Hierarchy:

The DNS system follows a hierarchical structure with multiple types of servers involved:

Root Servers

At the top level of this hierarchy are 13 root servers worldwide. These servers store information about all top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .net, etc. When your request reaches these servers, they provide information about which authoritative name server handles that particular TLD.

TLD Servers

Below root servers are TLD servers that handle specific top-level domains such as .com or .org. These servers hold information about authoritative name servers responsible for individual domains within their TLD.

Authoritative Name Servers

Authoritative name servers are responsible for storing the IP address information for a specific domain. They are maintained by domain registrars or the organization that owns the domain. When a DNS server receives a request for a specific domain, it contacts the authoritative name server to fetch the corresponding IP address.

Benefits of DNS:

Efficiency: DNS servers cache IP addresses, which helps in faster retrieval of information and reduces network traffic.
Load Distribution: DNS can distribute traffic across multiple servers by using techniques like Round Robin or Load Balancing.
Redundancy: Multiple DNS servers can be configured to provide failover support, ensuring that if one server fails, another can take over.

In conclusion,

A DNS server performs a critical function by translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. It enables efficient communication between computers on the internet and improves browsing experience for users.

Understanding how DNS works and its hierarchical structure helps in troubleshooting network issues and optimizing website performance. By leveraging caching, load distribution, and redundancy features of DNS, organizations can provide faster and more reliable internet services to their users.

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