What Is a DNS Server in Windows?


Larry Thompson

A DNS server, short for Domain Name System server, is an essential component of the internet infrastructure. It acts as a phonebook for the internet, translating domain names into IP addresses and allowing users to access websites using human-readable addresses.

What is DNS?

DNS is a hierarchical naming system that assigns unique domain names to websites. It works by converting these domain names, such as www.example.com, into numerical IP addresses, like, which computers use to identify and communicate with each other over the network.

How Does DNS Work?

When you type a website address into your browser’s address bar, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to resolve the domain name into an IP address. The DNS server then looks up the IP address associated with that domain name and returns it to your computer.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how DNS works:

  1. You enter a website address (e.g., www.com) into your browser.
  2. Your computer sends a DNS query to the configured DNS server.
  3. The DNS server checks its local cache for the corresponding IP address.
  4. If the IP address is found in the cache, it is returned to your computer without further processing.
  5. If the IP address is not found in the cache, the DNS server starts a process called recursive resolution.
  6. The recursive resolution involves contacting other DNS servers higher up in the hierarchy until an authoritative DNS server for that domain is found.
  7. The authoritative DNS server provides the correct IP address back down through the hierarchy to your computer.
  8. Your computer receives the IP address and can now connect to the website using that IP address.

DNS Servers in Windows

In Windows, you can configure DNS server settings at both the system and network adapter levels. Here’s how:

System Level DNS Configuration

To configure DNS servers for your entire Windows system, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start button and selecting Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center.
  3. In the left sidebar, click on Change adapter settings.
  4. Right-click on your active network adapter and select Properties.
  5. In the Properties window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click on the Properties button.
  6. In the next window, select the option to use the following DNS server addresses.
  7. Enter the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers in the provided fields. You can use public DNS servers like Google DNS (8.8.8) or Cloudflare DNS (1.1.1).
  8. Click OK to save your changes.

Network Adapter Level DNS Configuration

If you want to configure DNS servers for a specific network adapter, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Network Connections window as described above.
  2. Right-click on the network adapter you want to configure and select Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on the Properties button.

By configuring DNS server settings on your Windows system, you can ensure faster and more reliable DNS resolution, leading to improved browsing experience and network performance.


DNS servers play a crucial role in translating domain names into IP addresses, enabling seamless website access. Understanding how DNS works and how to configure DNS servers in Windows can help you troubleshoot network issues and optimize your internet experience.

Remember that proper DNS configuration is essential for reliable internet connectivity, so choose your DNS servers wisely and keep them up-to-date.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy