What Is a DNS Server and Why Is It Unavailable?


Scott Campbell

What Is a DNS Server and Why Is It Unavailable?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is a crucial component of the internet as it helps translate human-readable domain names into computer-readable IP addresses. In simpler terms, it acts as a phone book for the internet, connecting domain names like www.example.com to their corresponding IP addresses like

When you type a website’s URL into your browser, the browser contacts a DNS server to find the IP address associated with that domain name. Without a functioning DNS server, your computer wouldn’t be able to connect to websites by their domain names; instead, you’d have to remember and use the IP addresses directly.

How Does a DNS Server Work?

To understand how a DNS server works, let’s consider an example:

Step 1: You enter “www.com” into your browser.

Step 2: Your computer sends a request to the configured DNS server.

Step 3: The DNS server checks if it has the IP address for “www.com” in its cache (a temporary storage).

  • If it finds the IP address in its cache, it returns the corresponding IP address immediately.
  • If it doesn’t have it in its cache, it forwards the request to other DNS servers until one of them has the IP address or can provide further information.

Step 4: The resolved IP address is sent back to your computer.

Step 5: Your computer can now connect to “www.com” using the obtained IP address.

DNS servers are typically provided by your internet service provider (ISP) or can be manually configured to use third-party DNS servers like Google DNS or Cloudflare DNS.

Why Is a DNS Server Unavailable?

There are several reasons why a DNS server might become unavailable:

  • Internet Connection Issues: If you have a problem with your internet connection, your computer won’t be able to reach the DNS server. Ensure that you have a stable and functioning internet connection.
  • DNS Server Outage: Just like any other server, a DNS server can experience technical difficulties or maintenance, resulting in temporary unavailability.

    In such cases, you can switch to an alternative DNS server temporarily.

  • Misconfigured Settings: Incorrectly configured network settings on your computer or router can prevent it from connecting to the DNS server. Double-check the settings or contact your ISP for assistance.

If you’re experiencing issues accessing websites or getting “DNS server not found” errors, it’s worth checking the availability of the DNS server and troubleshooting potential causes mentioned above.

In conclusion, a DNS server plays a crucial role in translating domain names into IP addresses, allowing us to browse the internet conveniently. Understanding how it works and troubleshooting its unavailability can help ensure smooth internet connectivity.

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