What Is the DNS Server on My Network?


Scott Campbell

In this article, we will discuss the DNS server on your network. Understanding the role and functionality of a DNS server is crucial for anyone who uses the internet regularly. So, let’s dive in!

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is like a phonebook for the internet. It helps translate human-readable domain names, such as www.example.com, into machine-readable IP addresses, like 192.168.1.

How Does a DNS Server Work?

When you type a website address into your browser’s address bar, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to resolve the domain name into an IP address.

  • Step 1: Your computer first checks its local cache to see if it already knows the IP address for the requested domain name.
  • Step 2: If it doesn’t find it in the cache, your computer sends a request to your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) DNS server.
  • Step 3: If your ISP’s DNS server doesn’t have the IP address either, it will forward the request to other authoritative DNS servers on the internet until it finds one that has the information.
  • Step 4: Once the IP address is found, it is returned to your computer and stored in its local cache for future reference.

The Importance of DNS Servers

DNS servers play a crucial role in ensuring that you can access websites by their domain names rather than having to remember complex IP addresses. They also help balance internet traffic by directing requests to different servers based on factors like geographical location and server load.

Types of DNS Servers

There are several types of DNS servers:

  • Recursive DNS Servers: These servers perform the entire process of resolving a domain name to an IP address on behalf of the client.
  • Authoritative DNS Servers: These servers hold the official records for a domain and provide answers to queries about that domain’s information.
  • Forwarding DNS Servers: These servers forward DNS requests to other servers, usually your ISP’s DNS server or public DNS servers like Google’s (8.8.8).

Configuring Your DNS Server

Your computer and network devices are typically configured to use your ISP’s DNS server by default. However, you can also configure your devices to use alternative DNS servers such as public ones provided by Google or OpenDNS.

To change your DNS server settings on most operating systems, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Open your network settings.
  2. Step 2: Find the section related to DNS settings.
  3. Step 3: Replace the existing DNS server addresses with the new ones you want to use.
  4. Step 4: Save the changes and restart your device if necessary for the changes to take effect.

In Conclusion

A DNS server is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure, enabling easy access to websites by translating domain names into IP addresses. Understanding how it works and being able to configure your device’s DNS settings can help improve your internet experience.

Remember, the next time you type a website address into your browser, thank the DNS server for doing all the hard work behind the scenes!

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