Nameservers vs. DNS

Bruno Mircevski

Web Hosting Expert ··Hosting Services Explained

Nameservers vs. DNS

If your site is being migrated to a new hosting provider, you might be thinking, what will this mean for your domain registration. Maybe you’re worried that if you switch hosting providers, your visitors won’t be able to access your content.

For these reasons, it’s important to know what Domain Name System (DNS) and nameservers are and how they work. Your migration can be managed a lot more efficiently once you understand what these terms mean. In this post, we will take an in-depth look into DNS records and nameservers.

What is DNS?


DNS, or Domain Name System, is a distributed database for resources such as computers connected to the Internet. To put it in simple words, DNS works as a phone directory. DNS contains records of web devices, such as servers and their computers, and their IP addresses. In order for browsers to be able to load internet resources, DNS translates the domain names to IP addresses.

DNS has a crucial role since it helps in the conversion of simple domain names (for instance, example.com) into an IP address (for instance, 32.12.51.24). Each domain has its DNS records, and these DNS records include the nameserver. When you register a domain name with a domain registrar or a hosting provider, there are generated for you. As a result, the nameserver directs your domain name to the IP address of your registrar or host.

What Is a Nameserver


A nameserver is a component that connects your URL with the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server that hosts your site. With the help of nameservers, browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are able to direct users to the proper page once they type in an address of a site. For instance, if you enter “example.com” into Google, the browser will be told by the nameserver where is the location of the domain. The browser wouldn’t be able to display the site without this information.

How Does DNS Work


A DNS Server will respond in one of the following ways when it’s queried:

  • The server will indicate that it does not have the data that is requested.

  • The server will return a pointer to a different DNS server that is able to service the request.

  • The server will return the request IP-resolution data or name-solution.

There are three different types of DNS servers, and those include caching servers, primary servers, and secondary servers.

Caching-only servers, or caching servers, provide cached-query service for DNS responses. Caching DNS servers return the results to the querying client after they have performed queries and cached the answers. The main difference between catching servers and secondary servers is that caching servers don’t maintain zone files, while secondary servers do.

Primary servers are where all of the administrative tasks associated with the zone need to be performed. Moreover, all of the additions to RRs in the zone files or any modifications need to be made on the primary server. There is only one primary server for any given zone, except if you integrate Microsoft DNS Server and Active Directory Services.

In a zone transfer, secondary servers get all of their zone files from the primary server. One certain zone can have several secondary servers, depending on how many are needed to offer traffic reduction, fault tolerance, and load balancing. Moreover, any DNS server can be a secondary server for several zones.

What Is DNS Cache?


DNS caching is a storage location that allows any DNS server of the client to store the DNS records locally and then later re-use them. What this does is it eliminates the need for new DNS queries. This database is temporary, and it keeps records of all the new visits and attempted visits, and other internet domains.

The DNS query can be resolved easiest thanks to DNS caching that stores data closer to the requesting client. As a result, this leads to reducing consumption of CPU and bandwidth, as well as improving load times.

Difference Between Nameserver and DNS


Purpose

You use DNS every time you access any IP application, whether it’s sending an email or typing a web address. It’s essential to the functioning of all IP network applications, from multimedia applications to email, web browsing, and more. In order for web browsers to load internet resources, DNS translates hostnames into IP addresses. On the other hand, nameservers cache or host these translations. A nameserver is a server that hosts a referral record or a name record for a domain name.

Definition

Like we previously mentioned, DNS, or domain name system, is a set of protocols that provide computers the opportunity to communicate through the Internet. In comparison, a nameserver is a server where DNS information is kept so that it can be accessed by the Internet. It is a crucial part of the domain name system that helps connect IP addresses and URLs. You link your registrar to your hosting service provider with a name server.

Operation

Name servers translate names to properties, usually IP addresses, and the other way around. Besides simplifying the management of networks, they also make networks more responsive and dynamic when it comes to changes. If a network has a name server present in it, the host only needs to know the name of the resources and the physical address of a name server. On the other hand, DNS saves a corresponding IP address of a domain name and the domain name itself to where the domain is hosted.

How To Use Nameservers and DNS Records


How to Create a New DNS Record

  1. In order to add a DNS resource record, the first thing you need to do is to click IPAM in Server Manager, and the IPAM client console will be displayed.

  2. Click DNS Zones in Monitor and Manage on the navigation page. The navigation pane is divided into a lower and upper navigation pane.

  3. Click Forward Lookup, which is located in the lower navigation pane. Then, all DNS Forward Lookup zones that are IPAM-managed will be shown in the search results. Right-click on the zone where you want to add a new record, and then click on Add DNS resource record.

  4. Then, a dialog box called Add DNS Resource Records will open. Click DNS server in the Resource record properties, and then select the DNS server where you want to add your new resource record. Click on New in Configure DNS Resource records.

  5. Click on Resource record type in the dialogue box New Resource Record. You will get a list of types of resource records. Click on the resource record that you want to add.

  6. Type a resource record name in Name in New Resource record. Type an IP address in IP address, and then select the appropriate resource record properties. Then, click on Add Resource record.

  7. You can apply the same process for creating records if you want to add more resource records. Click Apply after you’re done creating new resource records.

  8. There is a resource records summary displayed in the Add Resource Record dialog box. The Status of the record is Success when the records are created successfully. Once you’re done, you can click on Ok, and you’re good to go.

Why Is DNS Important


DNS is extremely important because you won’t be able to connect to sites on the Internet if a DNS is not responding. This is a result of the fact that when you want to visit a certain website after you’ve opened a web browser, you don’t need to go through the struggle of remembering and entering a lengthy IP address that consists of a bunch of numbers. All you need to do is enter the domain name, and you will be taken where you want to go.

You won’t be able to access any website if the DNS is not able to translate the domain name to the correct IP address. To put it in simple terms, the Internet as we know it won’t function properly without DNS. Even though you can type in an IP address into a browser and get to the website you desire, this is not something that is often done nowadays.

Summary Of Nameservers Vs. DNS:


Understanding what DNS records and nameservers are and how their work will make sure that transition is smooth when you’re migrating your website to a new hosting provider. It is essential that your domain name directs to the proper nameserver.

You use DNS every time you send an email, type a web address, or access any IP application, so it’s crucial that you have some knowledge of the term. On the other hand, a name server is a server that manages all the domain name records and runs DNS software. DNS solves problems such as management, scalability, and organization.

Frequently Asked Questions


How should I choose a domain name?

To choose a domain name for yourself, avoid hyphens, stay unique and brandable, keep your domain name short, and avoid using doubled letters.

Can I buy a domain name permanently?

Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis, and you cannot buy a domain name permanently.

How do I see who owns a domain name?

You can use the WHOIS domain lookup tool to find out who owns a certain domain name.

What makes a certain domain valuable?

Valuable domains are usually memorable, easy to spell, pronounce, and short.

Bruno Mircevski
About the Author
Bruno Mircevski

Bruno Mircevski is a web hosting services expert. He has spent years researching the niche, exploring the most diverse aspects of Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Resellers, etc. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he can grant you meaningful insights on our blog, whether you are a beginner or a hosting pro.

View all posts by Bruno Mircevski
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