What is DNS Hosting?

what is dns hosting

Do you know what the Domain Name System (DNS) is? It converts human-readable domain names into computer-readable IP addresses, allowing your computer to communicate with the website server and access its content.

What is DNS hosting? Our thorough guide gives you answers to this and many other questions, such as how DNS works, what DNS servers are involved in loading a website, the definition of domain nameservers, and how to change them.

What is DNS hosting?

The simplest way to explain DNS meaning is to look at it as a phone book for the Internet. 

It keeps track of domain names (the part of a web address that comes after “www.”) and the long string of numbers (called an “IP address”) associated with that website.

DNS lists domain names with their matching identifiers called IP addresses. For example, when a user types wpbeginner.com into their browser, their device pulls up the IP address and connects them to the physical location where the website is hosted.

How does DNS work?

If a person wants to visit a website, the Domain Name System (DNS) will look up the name of that particular website and translate it into numbers (an IP address); this request is called a query. So, instead of entering a website’s IP address, you simply have to enter its domain name into the browser, and your DNS provider will take care of the rest.

Without DNS services, all internet navigation would depend on knowing the numeric location of individual webpage servers on every ISP’s network (which changes constantly!), or following links from page to page manually until reaching the desired destination. 

In other words, without DNS services, you’d need to type something like every time you want to go to a particular website. Instead, you can type the easier-to-remember website name.

What are the types of DNS?

The resolution procedure is made up of four kinds of DNS servers: DNS precursor, root nameserver, TLD nameserver, and authoritative nameserver.

  • The DNS precursor (also known as DNS Resolver) is a server that receives queries from client devices via web browsers. It typically makes additional requests to complete the client’s DNS request.
  • The root nameserver is the initial step in resolving (translating) human-readable hostnames into IP addresses. It works like a library index, pointing to various book racks –  generally, it is used to refer to other more precise locations.
  • The top-level domain nameserver (TLD) is the next step in the search for a specific IP address, and it hosts the last portion of a hostname (In example.com, the TLD server is “com”).
  • The last stop in the nameserver query is the authoritative nameserver, which acts like a dictionary for book titles. If the authoritative name server has access to the requested data, it will return the IP address for the requested website.

DNS Security

When it comes to security, DNS has several flaws, chiefly DNS cache poisoning (DNS spoofing). When DNS cache gets poisoned, corrupt DNS data is introduced into the DNS resolver’s cache.

It basically means your computer’s security is vulnerable because invalid or corrupt entries are placed into a cache and are later recognised as valid by your computer.

However, they are most commonly invalid and cause the name server to return an incorrect result record, e.g. an IP address with malicious content.

What Are Domain Nameservers?

A nameserver is responsible for storing all DNS records of a website. When someone sends a query, the nameserver will allow them to locate your website. A nameserver address appears to be identical to a domain name. Many hosting companies use two or more nameserver addresses.

How to Change Your Nameservers?

If you want to change the nameservers for your domain, you can do so through your domain registrar. Your domain registrar is the company you purchased your domain name from – for example, GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Hover. 

You’ll need to log in to your domain registrar’s website to change your nameservers. Then, look for a section called “Nameservers” or “Domain Settings.” Under this section, there should be an option to change your nameservers.

Each registrar has a different process for changing nameservers.

Once you’ve changed your nameservers, it can take up to 48 hours for them to propagate throughout the Internet. During this time, you may experience intermittent errors when accessing your website.

What Is a DNS Zone and How to Change It?

A DNS zone is a section of the DNS namespace established for administrative purposes by an individual or organisation. Each DNS zone contains at least one DNS entry. 

You may modify a DNS zone for various reasons, including redirecting your domain to another IP address. If you wish to change your DNS zone, you should know there are several types of DNS records you can modify, create, or delete:

A Record

An A Record or DNS host Record converts a hostname or domain to an IPv4 address. An AAAA record works similarly, transforming a hostname to an IPv6 address. There can only be one A record for each domain name.

CNAME Record

A CNAME Record (Canonical Name Record) points a domain name to an alias IP address. This allows you to have multiple alias domain names which point to a single web server, making it easier to manage your website’s configuration.

For example, you could create a CNAME Record for “www.yourdomain.com” that points to “yourdomain.com,” which leads to the IP address of your website server. This would allow people to access your website by typing “www.yourdomain.com” into their browser instead of the IP address.

MX Record

An MX record (mail exchanger) identifies the mail server that handles incoming emails sent to your domain name. If you set up an MX record for yourdomain.com, you will receive emails using the @yourdomain.com email address.

TXT Record

Domain administrators use a TXT record to convey important information in human and machine-readable formats. It doesn’t affect your DNS settings directly, but it informs external parties about your domain’s significance. 

There are several reasons for having a TXT entry in your DNS zone. A TXT record is commonly used to create Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records that identify which servers can send emails on your domain’s behalf.

SVR Records

An SRV record connects a hostname to a particular service. Compared to other DNS records, SRV records store more information, including the port number. Configuring an SRV record will guide applications to find your preferences for certain services.

What is DNS propagation?

Each time you modify or add a new DNS record, the change will take some time to be updated on all of the world’s servers. That is called the DNS propagation period.

What is DNS caching? Where does DNS caching occur?

The goal of caching is to briefly store data in a location to improve performance and reliability for data requests. DNS caching involves storing a local copy of a DNS lookup. This allows your OS or browser to retrieve it quickly, and thus a website’s URL can be resolved to its corresponding IP much more efficiently, reducing bandwidth/CPU consumption.   

DNS data can be cached in various locations, with storing DNS records time determined by a time-to-live (TTL).

Bottom Line

Web browsing and other internet activities rely on DNS to provide the necessary information to connect users to remote hosts. If you wondered what is DNS hosting and how it works, we hope this article helped you learn all the information you needed.


1. What does it mean to add DNS hosting?

When you add DNS hosting, you’re essentially entrusting a third party with the responsibility of managing and maintaining your company’s domain name server records. Third-party providers make sure your domain name servers are always up-to-date and properly configured. Some DNS resolvers offer content filtering and botnet protection, meaning you can block malicious content from accessing your website.

2. Is DNS the same as web hosting?

DNS provides you with resolution services; that is, it makes it possible for your website to be accessed by others. On the other hand, web hosting allows you to rent a place on the World Wide Web to host your website. They do, however, collaborate to make websites possible.

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