Web Hosting: Name Servers & DNS

web host what are nameservers and dns image
web host what are nameservers and dns image

According to DomainNameShop, “A nameserver is a computer connected to the Internet whose job is to translate domain names into IP addresses (or vice versa), allowing you to enter www.yourdomain.com instead of 194.56.433.34.”

But how does your computer know what web page to display to your and which server to pull it from?

  1. First, your web browser knows that you typed 1and1.com (for example) into its address bar
  2. Second, using DNS (domain name server), your computer looks up the current name servers of 1and1.com.
  3. From there, the public name servers of 1and1 – ns-1and1.ui-dns.org and ns-1and1.ui-dns.de– are retrieved.
  4. Your computer will ask 1and1’s name servers for the A (address) record for 1and1.com
  5. Their public name servers respond back by giving you their IP address 208.255.134
  6. Then, your computer sends a request to that IP address and the page you are requesting
  7. Then, 1and1’s web server sends you the requested page to your browser.

You might want to bookmark the IP address of 1and1, but typing just 1and1.com in the address bar of your browser is going to be much easy to remember.

Plus, it would be really difficult to remember IP addresses of every website you visit.

This is the reason why name servers actually exists on the Internet.

dns and name serverHow to check which name servers am I using?

You can check the name servers of your domain name by using domain routing tool, or through the command prompt by following these simple steps:

Step #1: Go to Start, and in the Search programs and files field type cmd, and finally hit Enter.

find-nameserver-cmd-image

Step #2: Type nslookup in the command prompt screen

nslookup

Step #3: Type the following command to see the NS (Nameserver) records of your domain:

Type set q=NS

set-qns

Step #4: Then hit Enter, and type in your domain name to view its name servers

see-your-nameserver

For example, I wanted to see the name servers of 1and1.com, so I typed 1and1.com in the next line, and then got these name servers in my screen above:

ns-1and1.ui-dns.org; ns-1and1.ui-dns.de; ns-1and1.ui-dns.biz; ns-1and1.ui-dns.com

When do I need to update/change my domain name servers?

When you register a domain name with a web host, automatically you will be using their public name servers.

But if you registered a domain name with one domain registrar but would like to host it with another web host company, you need to update your domain name server’s information to point to your web host public name servers.

Anytime you are making DNS changes, it will take up to 24-48 hours to see the change happen.

Do you always have to do this?

Setting a domain’s name server is just telling your domain registrar where to send DNS requests for your domain name to. That means you really do not need to use public domain name of a web host to have your domain name hosted with them.

If you have tools that will allow you to directly modify the DNS records for your domain, go ahead  and modify your DNS records so that they will point to the IP addresses of the server you will be using with your web host.

How do I update my name servers?

To update your name servers, the changes have to be made from the domain name Registrar where you bought your domain name.

You can read my step by step guide on how to update domain name servers for more information. It covers everything you need to know how to update your domain name, Also, it includes links to popular domain Registrars, and how to update your name servers with them, in a step by step process.

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