What Is DNS Network Server?


Scott Campbell

What Is DNS Network Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) network server is a critical component of the internet infrastructure that helps translate human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. In simple terms, it acts as a phonebook for the internet, allowing users to access websites by typing in familiar domain names instead of complex numerical IP addresses.

How Does DNS Work?

When you type a domain name into your web browser, such as example.com, the DNS server is responsible for translating that name into an IP address like This translation process happens behind the scenes and is crucial for establishing a connection between your computer and the website’s hosting server.

To understand how DNS works, let’s break down the process into three main steps:

  • Step 1: Your computer contacts a recursive DNS resolver.
  • Step 2: The recursive resolver contacts authoritative DNS servers.
  • Step 3: The authoritative servers provide the IP address to the recursive resolver.

Step 1: Your Computer Contacts a Recursive DNS Resolver

When you enter a domain name into your browser, your computer first checks its local cache to see if it has previously accessed that website. If not found, it contacts a recursive DNS resolver provided by your internet service provider (ISP) or a third-party service like Google Public DNS or Cloudflare.

Step 2: The Recursive Resolver Contacts Authoritative DNS Servers

The recursive resolver then sends a query to one of the root servers to find out which authoritative server handles the top-level domain (TLD) of the requested domain name. For example, if you’re accessing example.com, the recursive resolver will find the authoritative server responsible for the ‘.com’ TLD.

The recursive resolver then contacts the authoritative server responsible for the TLD and requests the IP address of the domain name. If it doesn’t have the information cached, it continues to query other authoritative servers until it finds a match.

Step 3: The Authoritative Servers Provide the IP Address

Once the recursive resolver receives a response from an authoritative server with the IP address of the requested domain name, it stores this information in its cache for future use. It then returns this IP address to your computer’s browser.

Why Is DNS Important?

DNS is a fundamental part of how we navigate and access websites on the internet. Without DNS, we would need to remember and enter complex IP addresses for every website we want to visit, which is not practical or user-friendly.

DNS simplifies this process by allowing us to use easy-to-remember domain names instead.

Furthermore, DNS plays a crucial role in website performance and reliability. By using caching mechanisms at various levels (recursive resolvers, authoritative servers), DNS reduces network traffic and improves response times.

It also enables load balancing and fault tolerance by distributing traffic across multiple servers.


In summary, a DNS network server is an essential component that translates human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. It allows us to access websites easily and efficiently by eliminating the need to remember complex numerical addresses.

Understanding how DNS works is crucial for anyone interested in web development or networking as it forms a foundation for internet communication.

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