What Is Search Domain and DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

What Is Search Domain and DNS Server?

In the world of networking, search domain and DNS server play crucial roles in ensuring smooth communication between devices connected to a network. Understanding these concepts is essential for network administrators and anyone interested in how the internet works.

Search Domain

A search domain, also known as a default domain, is a setting used by devices to simplify the process of accessing resources on a network. When a user tries to access a resource using its hostname (e.g., example.com), their device needs to know the corresponding IP address to establish a connection.

Instead of typing the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) every time, such as www.example.com, users can rely on their search domain settings. The search domain is appended to any incomplete hostnames entered by the user.

For example, if the search domain is set to “example.com,” typing “www” in the browser will automatically be interpreted as “www.com. “

This feature saves time and simplifies navigation within a network, especially in large organizations with multiple subdomains or websites.

Configuring Search Domain

To configure the search domain on your device:

  • Go to your device’s network settings.
  • Locate the DNS settings or advanced network settings.
  • Find the option to set the search domain.
  • Enter your desired search domain (e.com).
  • Save your changes.

DNS Server

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phonebook for the internet. It translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand.

Every website or service on the internet has a unique IP address assigned to it. DNS servers are responsible for resolving domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.

When you enter a URL into your browser, such as www.com, your device sends a DNS request to a DNS server. The DNS server then looks up the IP address associated with that domain name and returns it to your device. Once your device receives the IP address, it can establish a connection with the desired website or service.

Types of DNS Servers

There are several types of DNS servers:

  • Recursive Resolver: These servers perform the actual work of finding the IP address for a given domain name. They recursively query other DNS servers until they find the answer.
  • Root Nameserver: These servers are at the top of the DNS hierarchy and handle requests for information about top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .org, etc.
  • TLD Nameserver: TLD nameservers handle requests for specific TLDs (e., .net) and provide information about authoritative nameservers for individual domains within those TLDs.
  • Authoritative Nameserver: These servers hold the actual records for specific domains and provide answers to queries from recursive resolvers.

Changing DNS Server Settings

To change your device’s DNS server settings:

  • Navigate to your device’s network settings.
  • Find the option to configure DNS settings.
  • Select “Manual” or “Custom” configuration mode.
  • Add the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers.
  • Save the changes.

By understanding how search domain and DNS server work, you gain insight into the fundamental building blocks of network communication. Whether you’re troubleshooting network issues or configuring advanced networking settings, this knowledge will empower you to navigate the digital world with confidence.

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