What Is Caching DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

A caching DNS server, also known as a resolver, is a type of server that stores DNS (Domain Name System) information temporarily. It acts as an intermediary between a client device and other DNS servers to speed up the process of resolving domain names into IP addresses.

How Does a Caching DNS Server Work?

When you access a website by typing its domain name in your web browser, your device sends a request to a DNS server to translate that domain name into its corresponding IP address. This translation allows your device to connect to the correct server and retrieve the website’s content.

A caching DNS server works by storing the results of previous DNS lookups in its cache. When it receives a request for a domain name translation, it first checks if the information is already available in its cache. If it is, the server can provide the IP address immediately without having to query other DNS servers.

If the requested information is not found in its cache, the caching DNS server forwards the request to other DNS servers until it receives a response with the IP address. It then stores this information in its cache for future use and returns the IP address to the client device.

Advantages of Using Caching DNS Servers

1. Improved Performance

Caching DNS servers significantly improve performance by reducing latency in domain name resolution. Since they store frequently accessed domain names and their corresponding IP addresses, subsequent requests for those domains can be resolved quickly without needing to contact other servers.

2. Reduced Network Traffic

By caching DNS responses, these servers help reduce network traffic by minimizing the number of requests that need to be sent across networks. This can be especially beneficial in large organizations with many devices accessing similar websites or services.

3. Enhanced Reliability

In case of DNS server failures or outages, a caching DNS server can still provide responses for previously resolved domain names. This redundancy ensures that users can still access websites and services even when individual DNS servers are unavailable.

Configuring Caching DNS Servers

To take advantage of a caching DNS server, you can configure your device or network settings to use a specific caching resolver. This involves specifying the IP address of the caching DNS server in your network settings or router configuration.

Some popular caching DNS servers include:

  • BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain): A widely used open-source DNS software that supports caching and other advanced features.
  • Dnsmasq: A lightweight DHCP and caching DNS server commonly used on home networks or small-scale deployments.
  • Unbound: Another open-source resolver that focuses on security and performance.

By configuring your device or network to use a caching DNS server, you can experience faster browsing speeds and more efficient domain name resolution.


A caching DNS server plays a vital role in improving the performance, reducing network traffic, and enhancing reliability of domain name resolution. By storing frequently accessed information in its cache, it enables quicker retrieval of IP addresses for known domain names, resulting in faster website loading times and overall improved user experience.

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