Domain Name Servers Explained

A Domain Name Server or DNS is used every time you request a web site. One is always provided by your ISP. It is a basic component of the Internet.



All servers on the Internet are identified and accessed by an IP address. Every computer on the Internet has an IP address, including yours. To find your IP address, go here.

This fine for a computer but not very human friendly. As the Internet expanded, remembering names like was not exactly obvious.

In 1983 the DNS concept was introduced. This assigned a name to the IP Address. Something like computers4seniors is easier to remember than but it required a Name Server to translate from the name to the IP address. This means that every time you visit a new web site a DNS Server must be used to find the new web site.

See our Internet History topic for additional information.




How it works


On a broadband network (See Internet Connections) your router, not the computer establishes an Internet connection and assignes the DNS provided by your ISP. This is part of the standard installation procedure.

To find your DNS address, bring up the command prompt and type ipconfig /all to display your important connection information as shown on the right.

This is the information held in the router to establish an Internet connection.

With a broadband connection, your router is your Internet Server.

Because the DNS is accessed every time you go to a new web site, it can be a cause of slow computers. Google offers a service that allows you to find a faster DNS. Go to Namebench for access and more information.