What Is Name Server in Web Hosting?
In the world of web hosting, a name server plays a crucial role in ensuring that your website is accessible to users across the internet. Understanding what a name server is and how it functions is essential for anyone venturing into the realm of web hosting.
Definition of Name Server
A name server, also known as a DNS (Domain Name System) server, is a computer that translates domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. It acts as a directory for the internet, helping users access websites by converting human-friendly domain names (such as www.example.com) into machine-readable IP addresses.
How Does It Work?
To comprehend how a name server operates, let’s consider an analogy. Imagine you are trying to find the address of a particular house.
Instead of searching for the house by its physical address, you use its name. However, to reach the house, you need to know its actual location.
In this analogy, the name server acts as a phonebook or directory service. When you type a domain name into your browser’s address bar and hit enter, your computer sends a request to the nearest name server or DNS resolver. The resolver then searches for the corresponding IP address linked to that domain name.
If it has the IP address cached from previous requests, it immediately returns it to your computer. Otherwise, it contacts other DNS servers until it finds one that has the required information.
The Importance of Name Servers in Web Hosting
Name servers are an integral part of web hosting because they allow visitors to access websites using human-readable domain names instead of complicated IP addresses. They act as intermediaries between users and servers hosting website files.
Furthermore, name servers enable website owners to switch hosting providers without changing their domain name. By simply updating the name server settings, the website’s domain is pointed to a new hosting provider, ensuring a seamless transition.
Types of Name Servers
There are two main types of name servers:
- Primary Name Server: Also known as the master server, it is the authoritative server that holds the original and definitive version of DNS records for a specific domain.
- Secondary Name Server: Also known as slave servers or backup servers, they store copies of the DNS records from the primary name server. They help distribute the load and provide redundancy in case the primary server fails.
The Process of Configuring Name Servers
To configure name servers for your website, you typically need to follow these steps:
- Create an account with a domain registrar or web hosting provider.
- Access the domain management panel provided by your registrar or hosting provider.
- Locate the section for managing DNS settings or name servers.
- Enter the names of your desired name servers provided by your web hosting company.
- Save and apply the changes.
The process may vary slightly depending on your domain registrar or web hosting provider. It is always recommended to consult their documentation or contact their support team for specific instructions.
Name servers play a crucial role in web hosting by translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. They ensure that users can access websites easily and enable seamless transitions between different hosting providers. Remember to configure your name servers correctly to ensure your website remains accessible and functional.