What Is DNS DNS Server Explain?


Larry Thompson

What Is DNS DNS Server Explain?

In the world of networking, DNS (Domain Name System) plays a crucial role in translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses. But what exactly is DNS and how does a DNS server work?

The Basics of DNS

DNS acts as a directory for the internet, converting domain names (like www.example.com) into their corresponding IP addresses (like It functions like a phone book, where you look up someone’s name to find their phone number.

Every time you type a URL into your web browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to obtain the IP address associated with that domain name. Once the IP address is obtained, your browser can connect to the web server hosting the website.

The Role of DNS Servers

DNS servers are responsible for storing and providing access to vast databases containing domain name-to-IP address mappings. When your computer needs to resolve a domain name, it contacts a DNS server to retrieve this information.

There are different types of DNS servers:

  • Root Servers: These servers are at the top of the hierarchy and provide information about top-level domains (.com, .org, .net).
  • TLD (Top-Level Domain) Servers: These servers handle requests related to specific top-level domains (such as .com or .edu).
  • Authoritative Name Servers: These servers store information about individual domains and provide direct answers when queried.
  • Recursive Resolvers: Also known as caching resolvers, these servers store previously resolved queries to speed up future requests.

How DNS Resolution Works

When you enter a URL into your browser, the DNS resolution process begins. Here’s a simplified step-by-step explanation:

  1. Your computer checks its local cache to see if it has previously resolved the domain name. If found, it uses the corresponding IP address.
  2. If not found, your computer contacts the recursive resolver configured in your network settings. This resolver may have the answer cached or contacts other DNS servers on your behalf.
  3. The recursive resolver sends a query to the root server, asking for information about the top-level domain (e.g., .com).
  4. The root server responds with the IP address of a TLD server responsible for the specific top-level domain.
  5. The recursive resolver then queries the TLD server for information about the second-level domain (e., example.
  6. If available, the TLD server provides the IP address of an authoritative name server responsible for the requested domain.
  7. The recursive resolver contacts the authoritative name server and requests the IP address associated with the desired domain name.
  8. The authoritative name server responds with the IP address, and this response is passed back through each step until it reaches your computer.

DNS Caching

To improve efficiency and reduce network traffic, DNS servers implement caching mechanisms. When a DNS server resolves a query, it stores that information in its cache for a specified time period called “TTL” (Time To Live).

Subsequent queries for the same domain within that TTL will be answered directly from cache without contacting other servers again. This caching process helps to speed up subsequent requests and reduce latency.


DNS and DNS servers are essential components of the internet infrastructure. They enable us to navigate the web using easy-to-remember domain names while efficiently translating them into IP addresses behind the scenes. Understanding how DNS works and the role of DNS servers is crucial for anyone working with networks or websites.

Next time you type a URL into your browser, remember that a complex network of DNS servers is working diligently to ensure you reach your desired destination.

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