The DNS server on your desktop computer plays a crucial role in helping you access websites and other online services. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it is responsible for translating human-readable domain names (like www.example.com) into IP addresses (like 192.168.0.1) that computers can understand.
What is a DNS server?
A DNS server is a computer or network device that stores a database of domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. When you type a website address into your web browser, your computer contacts the DNS server to find out the IP address associated with that domain name.
How does the DNS server work?
When you enter a URL in your browser, it sends a request to the DNS server specified by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The DNS server then looks up the domain name in its database and returns the corresponding IP address to your computer.
This process happens almost instantly, allowing you to access websites without having to remember or manually enter their IP addresses.
Types of DNS servers
- Recursive resolver: This type of DNS server performs all the necessary steps to find the IP address for a given domain name. It may contact other servers on behalf of your computer if it doesn’t have the requested information.
- Root nameserver: These servers are at the top of the DNS hierarchy and maintain information about top-level domains like .com, .org, .net, etc. They direct queries to the appropriate authoritative nameservers.
- Authoritative nameserver: Each domain has its own authoritative nameservers that store information about that specific domain’s IP addresses and other related data.
Changing your DNS server
If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds or want to improve your online security, you can change the DNS server that your computer uses. Most operating systems allow you to specify custom DNS servers in your network settings.
To change your DNS server, follow these steps:
- Open the Network and Sharing Center on Windows or System Preferences on macOS.
- Select your active network connection (Wi-Fi or Ethernet).
- Click on “Properties” or “Advanced.”
- Look for the DNS settings and enter the IP addresses of the desired DNS servers.
- Save the changes and restart your computer for the new DNS settings to take effect.
The DNS server on your desktop computer is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, enabling you to access websites and online services effortlessly. Understanding how it works and being able to change your DNS server can help improve your internet experience in terms of speed, security, and reliability.