A Comparison of DNS Server Types

Abhijeet Modi/ July 14, 2021/ Blog

DNS makes it possible for computers to connect with each other on the internet. If there was no DNS, people would have to type the IP address of the website they are looking for on the internet. Not only would that be super difficult for people to remember, but memorizing the IP address of different websites is not possible. That’s where the DNS comes into the picture. It allows you to enter the domain name of the website in the search bar and find the website you have been looking for without having to memorize the numbers.

Now, DNS servers are available by default for each website. The internet service provider offers the DNS by default, which works pretty well. However, if you need an additional set of functions and you plan on running different operations on your DNS, you may have to purchase the paid DNS server. The main job of the DNS is to translate the domain address of a website into a computer-friendly IP address. But, some servers come packed with many additional security functions that give your audience a seamless experience. Below we have listed different types of DNS servers and how they differ from each other. Let’s take a look:

Authoritative Only

As the name suggests, this server has the responsibility of responding to queries concerning a specific area only. The specialty of the authoritative-only server is that it is extremely fast in answering the queries, as it receives and handles queries of a specific zone only. This makes authoritative-server quite efficient and reliable.

These servers do not handle recursive requests. The authoritative server has either the accurate and complete answers to the requests or it refers the requests to another nameserver. The major difference between the authoritative and recursive servers is that the former does not forward the user’s queries to another server for fetching the information requested. An Authoritative-only server means it has the information the user is requesting.

Caching DNS

This server handles all the recursive requests from the user. Unlike the authoritative server, caching DNS server has many applications and it isn’t limited to a specific zone. The server receives the recursive requests and forwards them to different DNS servers to fetch the information the user has been looking for. In order to avoid sending multiple requests, the results are cached and stored on the server and it keeps the cache of the data recently requested by different users.

Forwarding Server

It is nothing but an alternative to the caching server. The role of the forwarding server is to pass all the recursive requests it gets from different users to the DNS servers. It offers the same functionalities as the caching DNS. The major advantage to using the forwarding DNS server is that it saves you the time and effort of executive the recursive work.

These were the three most common types of DNS servers used extensively for processing recursive requests. You could choose from paid and free DNS depending on your requirements and budget.

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