DNS-server: what is it and what is it for

DNS is a special technology with which you can easily find a desired site by simply typing its name in the search bar of your browser. This article will provide more information about DNS.

How DNS works

The work of the DNS server can be compared to an ordinary phone call. First, a person enters the phone book, then searches for the desired subscriber and dials the phone number. It is clear that in order to make the call, it is the number that matters, not the name of the caller. If the phone book contains only the name without the phone number, you won't be able to make a call.

A similar pattern occurs with websites. Each of them has its own numerical values, which are called IP addresses. The user enters the name of the site into the search bar, and then the request is sent to the DNS server, which stores the IP addresses of all the sites. Only then will the user get access to the desired resource.

DNS-server: what is it

This name refers to one or more specialized computers that store the IP addresses of sites on the World Wide Web. At the moment there are a large number of DNS-servers. Every Internet service provider has them, because it is thanks to them users can go to the sites they need.

Why DNS servers are needed and what they are for

The main purpose is to store information about sites and domains, and provide them at the first request of users. Additionally, data from other servers is cached. Because of all this, DNS begins to resemble a kind of phone book on a smartphone.

It is worth explaining caching in more detail. One DNS-server can not store information about all sites in the world. There are small exceptions, but they are used very rarely. If the user has created a request to visit a site, first the browser sends the request to the hosts file. If there is no desired IP address there, the information is passed on to the local DNS-server provided by the user.

The local service, in turn, is in close connection with other DNS in the selected zone, where the site is registered. After some time, the site you are looking for is found, and it opens in the user's browser. The next time you open the same site will not have to wait long, because the IP address is automatically saved in the local DNS from the browser. It is this saving process that is called data caching. But it is worth remembering that cached information can not be stored forever. After a certain period of time, it will be deleted if the user stops visiting the site.

The IP address of a site is not always constant. It changes due to certain conditions. For example, the hosting or country of residence has changed. Within 24 hours after the change, users continue to access the site via the old IP address. Only after that time the information on the server changes, and the connection is made by the new IP.

Description of DNS server types

More recently, a classification for DNS servers has been developed, as there are more and more of them every year. It helps to look for the right option more easily. Among all the variety are the following types of servers:

  1. Root. Refers to authoritative servers. There are only 13 of them known at this time. Their domain names necessarily include root-servers.net. Local root servers do not exist at all or very few are available.
  2. Authoritative. This equipment is responsible for a specific zone. Additionally, authoritative servers are divided into primary and secondary. The first can make changes to the specified zone, the second can not.
  3. Redirecting. Such servers never execute requests directly. They only pass them in unmodified form to a higher-level server. Redirectors are needed in order to reduce the heavy load on the main devices and to increase the download speed.
  4. Caching. Completely fulfills all client requests. If necessary, refers to higher servers to find the desired IP address if it was not found in the local file you are looking for.
  5. Registering. Often works in conjunction with other types and accepts dynamic updates from users in real time. If there are any changes to the IP address, it is sure to record them.

There is also another type called DNSBL. This is a kind of blacklist for addresses and sites.

Configuring the DNS server

Below will be written instructions for setting up a server on Windows 10. It looks as follows:

  1. First, go to Control Panel, then Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center.
  2. In the very center will be an inscription "Connections" and the currently connected network. It is necessary to click on it.
  3. A small window pops up where you need to click on the "Properties" button.
  4. Next, select "Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IP)" and click "Properties".
  5. In the menu that appears, click "Use the following DNS-servers addresses".
  6. Then you only need to enter the DNS-addresses that are required.

This completes the setup process. In addition, it is recommended to restart the computer so that the new settings are activated.

What to keep in mind when choosing a suitable DNS server

The most important information is now known, it is time to move on to the selection of the DNS server. It is worth paying attention to the following parameters:

  1. Confidentiality level. The protocol must prohibit the transfer of users' personal data to third parties. If there is no such prohibition, it is a good reason to be wary. If personal data is stolen, the DNS server cannot be blamed for it.
  2. Speed of operation. The faster the DNS works, the better. You can check the speed by using special programs that are available on the Internet. They are absolutely free, so anyone can use them. The speed is influenced by the Internet service provider and the country where the server is located.
  3. Additional protection against malware and hacker attacks. The level of protection must be as high as possible. If a server is vulnerable, it is more likely to become a target for hacker attacks or malware injection. This not only impedes the full functionality of the not only hinders proper operation but also affects the security level.

To choose the right DNS server, it is worth understanding what is required of it. If the primary objective is to provide a high level of security, then it is worth paying attention to paid and proven services. Among the free ones, there are also many worthy options. Optimal solution would be DNS-server from Google. It is free, tested, has high speed for access to sites and reliably protects against hacker attacks.

If you need a DNS for business, you should pay attention to Cisco Umbrella. It already includes all the necessary security settings for this level. If you are interested in free options, it is Cloudflare. The team of server developers pays a lot of attention to the privacy of user data. Additionally, there is a filtering of forbidden content, including gambling sites and 18+. Personal data is never shared with third parties.

OpenDNS provides two connection options: free and paid. In the first case, it guarantees stable operation, protection of personal data and the ability to close access to certain sites. The latter is set up independently. In the paid version, you can block all sites, except for some specific ones.

Paid or free DNS-hosting: which is better

There is no definite answer to this question. If you take into account the free hosting, their main he main advantage is the lack of subscription fees. Everyone can use the services completely free. But from this comes one problem - the big risks. There is a chance to run into an unscrupulous hoster, who refuses to take responsibility for storing personal data. If they are transferred to third parties, no one will be responsible. If you choose a proven hosting with a long-standing reputation, there will be no such thing.

Paid options are almost 99% of the time reliable, safe and work smoothly. They are ideal for businesses.