What Happens if DNS Server is Down?
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a vital component of the internet infrastructure. It translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses, allowing computers to communicate with each other.
However, what happens when the DNS server goes down? Let’s explore the consequences of a DNS server outage and how it can impact your internet experience.
The Role of DNS Server
Before delving into the potential implications of a DNS server failure, let’s understand its primary role. The DNS server acts as a phonebook for the internet, mapping domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.
When you enter a website URL in your browser, it sends a request to the DNS server to fetch the IP address associated with that domain name.
Unable to Access Websites
When the DNS server is down, one of the most noticeable effects is the inability to access websites by their domain names. This is because your computer won’t be able to resolve those domain names into their respective IP addresses.
You may encounter error messages like “DNS Server Not Found” or “Server IP Address Could Not Be Found.”
Loss of Internet Connectivity
In addition to hindering access to websites, a non-functional DNS server can lead to a loss of internet connectivity for some users. Although you may still be connected to your local network, without a working DNS server, you won’t be able to access any external websites or services that rely on domain name resolution.
Impact on Email Communication
A downed DNS server can also disrupt email communication. Email servers rely on proper functioning of the DNS system for sending and receiving messages.
Without a functioning DNS server, your email client may fail to connect to the mail server, resulting in an inability to send or receive emails.
In some cases, a DNS server outage can cause increased latency or delays in accessing websites. This happens when your computer tries to resolve domain names through alternate DNS servers, which may not be as efficient as the primary one.
Consequently, it takes longer for your browser to establish a connection with the requested websites.
Workarounds during DNS Outage
While you may not have control over the DNS server’s functionality, there are a few workarounds you can try during a DNS outage:
- Use an alternative public DNS server: Switching to a different DNS server temporarily can help resolve domain names and regain internet connectivity. Popular options include Google Public DNS and OpenDNS.
- Flush your DNS cache: Clearing your computer’s DNS cache can force it to fetch fresh records from the DNS server, potentially resolving any issues.
- Access websites through IP addresses: Instead of relying on domain names, you can directly access websites using their IP addresses. However, this method is less user-friendly and not suitable for all scenarios.
A non-functional DNS server can disrupt your internet experience by preventing access to websites, causing loss of connectivity, impacting email communication, and introducing latency issues. While you cannot control external factors affecting the DNS server’s availability, understanding these potential consequences and utilizing workarounds can help mitigate the impact of a temporary outage.