What Are Domain Name Servers (DNS)?
Every single website has an IP address which is what computers use to locate them – for humans, domain names are how we locate websites. Domain names servers are part of the DNS database (domain name system). This database works similar to a phonebook but for computers address only.
It converts a domain name, for example, www.yoursites.com to a computer-readable IP address like “2.02 31.3.60”. The domain name system is regulated by several organizations some of which include: the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
When you impute a domain name in your browser’s search tab, the DNS provides the IP address of the domain name to your browser. Without the domain name server, you would have to have to remember strings of numbers for every website you need to visit.
What Is A Vanity Name Server?
Vanity Name Servers are DNS’ that linked to your website in place of a public name server. This is done to make your website appear more professional by camouflaging the fact that you are using a public server.
Vanity nameservers camouflage not just you using a public name server but the physical servers and the IP address handling your website’s DNS service request via a public name server
What Are Custom-Name Servers?
With a custom name server, you can set up a DNS server to respond to DNS request for your domain. This type of servers is requirements for a dedicated web hosting and Virtual Private Server users, who would like to have root access to the server.
What Are The Benefits Of Private Name Servers?
Before we consider the advantages of a private name server, it is important that we define what a private name server is. Private name servers are name servers that are associated with a single domain name in place of a web hosting provider’s. They are often registered to avoid giving out personal information to third parties.
Private name servers are advantageous for a couple of reasons:
- You can easily update your hosting provider without having to update name servers.
- For hosting resellers, they effectively cloak the fact that you resell hosting space – which leaves you free to rebrand your hosting service under your domain name.
- Private servers provide credibility because you have the same domain name on your name servers and website.
- It is easier for clients to remember name servers that are the same with your domain name.
How Do Domain Name Servers Work?
Simply put, domain name servers are the web version of a phonebook. They contain a directory of domain names and convert them to Internet protocol (IP) addresses. DNS’ is important because even though domain names are easy for people to remember, browsers and search engines access the website using IP addresses.
The information from domain servers across the Internet is collated and housed under a central registry. Internet service providers and hosting companies interact with this central registry regularly to get updated DNS information.
When you impute a web-based address, for example, www.cookiebites.com, your Internet service provider will use the DNS related to the domain name and convert it into a computer-friendly IP address such as 220.127.116.11.70 and direct your Internet connection to the correct websites.
After a new domain name is registered, the DNS servers on your domain name would have to be updated – this typically takes about 12 – 16 hours in order for the domain name servers all over the world to be updated with the new information. This is what is referred to as DNS propagation.
Registering Your Own Domain Name Service
In most instances, you would not need to do anything to the name servers attached to your site. However, there are circumstances where you would need to register a custom name server- which is used to configure the way your registered domain name information appears.
For example, you may own a domain name that is purchased from a different hosting provider than the one you currently use. In this instance, the purchasing of a custom name server will ensure a
more uniform strong individual brand identity as opposed to simply using a generic one attached to your host. This is also necessary if you have a Virtual Private Server or reseller hosting accounts.
The steps to registering your domain name will depend on individual registrars, thankfully most hosting companies will provide you with this information. Typically, you would need an IP address for each individual name server given to you by your host and the subdomains they recommend (often NS1 and NS2). Once DNS has propagated, it will work in the same manner as your host’s.
How To Create Private Name Servers
Please note, registering a private name server is not the same as changing your domain name server. Changing your website’s DNS to a private name server will not be possible – unless you register a primary name server with your existing domain name registrar.
VPS or dedicated server users looking to have root access to their servers would need a custom name server – It is an essential requirement. However, shared web hosting users will not be able to use private name servers.
The Three-Step Guide
Step 1: ensure you have the corresponding IP address. This is usually included in the welcome email you get after you purchase a domain name. If you cannot find it, contact your domain registrar or host.
Step 2: register your custom domain name server with your preferred domain registrar. Please note, the process may not be the same for all registrars. You will need to find out the exact steps with your chosen registrar.
Step 3: set the custom DNS up – If you are finding it difficult, look around your domain account and take note of anything relating to “register DNS”, “create DNS” or add DNS. If you do not to a page requiring an IP address, then you are in the wrong section. Keep searching tool you find the correct section.