What Is the Purpose of DNS Server Address?


Heather Bennett

What Is the Purpose of DNS Server Address?

When we browse the internet, we usually type in a website’s domain name (such as www.example.com) in our web browsers. But have you ever wondered how our computers know which IP address is associated with that domain name? This is where DNS server addresses come into play.

The Basics of DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a decentralized system that translates domain names into IP addresses.

Every device connected to the internet has an IP address, which serves as its unique identifier. However, IP addresses are difficult for humans to remember, so domain names were introduced to make it easier for us to access websites.

When you enter a URL in your browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server asking for the corresponding IP address. The DNS server then retrieves the IP address associated with that domain name and sends it back to your computer.

Why Do We Need DNS Server Addresses?

The primary purpose of DNS server addresses is to provide a mapping between human-readable domain names and machine-readable IP addresses. Without DNS, we would need to remember and enter long strings of numbers instead of simple domain names.

Additionally, using DNS server addresses allows websites and other online services to change their hosting provider or server without requiring users to update their bookmarks or memorize new IP addresses. This flexibility makes it easier for website owners to manage their online presence.

The Role of DNS Caching

DNS caching plays an essential role in improving internet speed and efficiency. When your computer receives an IP address from a DNS server, it stores this information in its local cache for future reference. This way, if you visit the same website again or access multiple pages within the same domain, your computer can retrieve the IP address from its cache without making a new request to the DNS server.

DNS caching reduces the time it takes to load websites, as it eliminates the need for your computer to repeatedly query DNS servers for IP address information. However, it’s worth noting that DNS records have a time-to-live (TTL) value, which determines how long they can stay in the cache before being refreshed.

Configuring DNS Server Addresses

Your computer or network router usually obtains DNS server addresses automatically from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). These addresses are typically provided through DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).

However, you can also manually configure DNS server addresses on your device or router. This allows you to use alternative DNS services like Google Public DNS or OpenDNS, which may offer additional features such as enhanced security or improved performance.

Changing DNS Server Addresses on Windows

To change the DNS server addresses on a Windows computer:

  • Open the Control Panel and navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  • Click on “Change adapter settings” in the left-hand menu.
  • Right-click on your active network connection and select “Properties.”
  • Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click on “Properties.”
  • In the pop-up window, choose “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the desired addresses.
  • Click “OK” to save the changes.

Changing DNS Server Addresses on Mac

To change the DNS server addresses on a Mac:

  • Go to System Preferences and select “Network.”
  • Select the network connection you are using (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) from the left-hand menu.
  • Click on “Advanced” in the lower-right corner.
  • Go to the “DNS” tab.
  • In the DNS Servers section, click on the “+” button and enter the desired addresses.


DNS server addresses play a crucial role in translating domain names into IP addresses, allowing us to access websites easily. They enable flexibility for website owners and improve internet speed through caching. Understanding DNS server addresses can help you troubleshoot network issues and configure alternative DNS services for enhanced performance or security.

Next time you type a website’s domain name into your browser, remember that behind the scenes, DNS server addresses are working tirelessly to ensure you reach your desired destination on the internet.

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