DNS Servers

In the world of computing, a domain name server contains a series of program that implement name server protocols. It identifies a human-recognizable identifier to an internal system which mostly consists of numeric and addressing elements.
There are different types of names servers; one being more prominent than others is Domain Name System (DNS). The name Domain Name Server is a standard name service given by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The server allows a users computer to register and resolve any domain name that is entered. One of the important uses of DNS servers is the resolution or translation, in human terms, of human-recognizable domain and host names in consequent numeric addresses known as Internet Protocol (IP). This is the second principal name space on Internet, the first being DNS, which is used to locate and identify various computer resources and systems on the Internet.

Uses of DNS
A DNS has many vital uses that make it an integral component of the World Wide Web. It designates various authoritative name servers the responsibility of domain names and locating the names to its corresponding IP addresses. The function of an authoritative name server is to map the particular domain names as well as delegate other authoritative name servers to map sub-domains. Such a use of a DNS server has made it fault tolerant and distributed making it decentralized.
A DNS server can store information including mail servers’ list which accept different emails for a certain Internet domain. This makes a DNS server an essential function of the Internet.
A domain name server performs two functions 24/7:

  • It accepts user requests of converting domain names into IP addresses
  • It accepts name servers’ request of converting domain names into IP addresses

Carrying out such responsibilities, DNS servers are deemed as an integral part of the Internet.

Why get your own DNS server
Most of you use an already assigned DNS server, whereas others have their own. The question is that “why should one get his/her own DNS serer?” The answer lies in its advantages.

  • You can experience better performance through a localized DNS server as it is directly connected with root servers
  • Customized zones can be included for different purposes such as intranet
  • If the DNS server of an ISP provider is down, your work will not be hindered
  • Only a limited number of users can access the resources of DNS server, the ones you authorize.
  • No tampering with the cache can be done which provides a high level of security

Compare these benefits with the benefits of a local ISP DNS server. You will surely want your own DNS server.

Benefits of DNS Servers
There are various benefits that DNS severs offer:

  • Decentralized operation increases the availability of a website.
  • Response time is reduced particularly when overseas requests are made for a website.
  • As the DNS servers are physically globally distributed, a server located closest to the received request replies automatically.

Costs/Price of a DNS Server
The prices of DNS servers vary according to the packages offered by different web hosting companies. The typical cost for a DNS server starts from $30 per year to more than $2000 per year.

Features of DNS Servers
Security – Certain security features have been built-in DNS servers. Despite this certain vulnerabilities have been found in different versions of BIND server software such as buffer attacks. Whenever DNS server software is operated, it must be updated first to acquire any security patches.
A security extension standard known as SNSSEC RFC 2065 was introduced in 1997, which was updated to RFC 2535 in 1999. These patches provide secure data integrity and authentication through the use of digital signatures and public key cryptography.
Latency – An average DNS server can provide an average latency of 250 ms. DNS latency is based on two elements:
• Latency between the server and the user
• Latency between the server and other authoritative servers
Bandwidth – Each DNS server has its own bandwidth, which depends on the servers’ configuration. It is usually a small amount of a website’s current traffic if a DNS server is serving as a look-up host for domains.
Optimisation – When the servers are initialized, default server configurations are used to boot information, registry and zone information. Most users modify the settings to have a better optimized performance. For this purpose, certain parameters need to be changed such as BIND secondaries, disabling recursion, enabling round robin, enabling net mask ordering and so on.
Support – Every provider of a DNS server has its own support management system in place to ensure that the servers are working in top condition. If your DNS server is not performing at its optimal level, visit your provider’s support system to get more information about the matter.
Alternatives – DNS servers are eventually found guilty with connectivity issues. Therefore, some alternatives to local and private DNS servers are free public servers such as
• Google
• Scrub It
• DNS Advantage
• Open DNS

Try these free servers, they will give you better performance than any other DNS server.

FAQ about DNS
Many questions are asked related to DNS server and its connectivity. A few commonly asked questions are:

  • From where can I get details about my web site’s DNS server? You can collect all details from the web hosting company on which you have your website. The DNS server information will typically consist of digits separated by periods (.). For instance
  • How can I change the name server for my domain name? Your web hosting company may have provided you with a control panel. A typical panel consists of an option under the name of ‘Manage Domain’. You can change your name server through this option.
  • Can other name servers be used for a web site besides the company given name server? Yes! Any DNS server can be used as long as it is verified by the VeriSign Global Registry.