Name Server


A name server is a specialized server that translates human-friendly domain names into IP addresses, facilitating communication on the internet. It is an essential component of the Domain Name System (DNS), a distributed database that maps domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. Name servers ensure that users can easily access websites and resources online by typing the domain name instead of remembering the numerical IP address.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Name Server is a specialized server on the Internet that handles queries and translates domain names into corresponding IP addresses.
  2. Name Servers play an essential role in the Domain Name System (DNS) by ensuring the smooth functioning of the internet by connecting web addresses to their designated servers and websites.
  3. There are two primary types of Name Servers: authoritative and recursive. Authoritative servers store information about specific domains, while recursive servers process requests from clients and search for the requested information in the entire DNS hierarchy.


The term “Name Server” is important in technology as it plays a crucial role in the Internet’s functioning, specifically in the domain name system (DNS). Name servers are responsible for translating human-friendly domain names, such as, into their corresponding IP addresses, which are numerical identifiers assigned to devices in a network.

This translation process allows users to access websites or online services through domain names rather than memorizing complex IP addresses.

Name servers essentially function as the backbone of internet navigation, enabling seamless communication and connectivity across the global network.

Without name servers, navigating the internet would be significantly more complicated and less user-friendly, impeding both ordinary users’ web browsing experience and the overall growth of the digital world.


A name server serves as a fundamental component within the Domain Name System (DNS), which is crucial to facilitate the seamless functioning of the internet. The primary purpose of a name server is to translate human-friendly domain names, like ‘,’ into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other. This translation process, called ‘Domain Name Resolution,’ allows users to access websites using easily memorable names rather than having to remember a series of numerical addresses.

Moreover, name servers are responsible for directing internet traffic to the specific web server hosting the website, ensuring a rapid and accurate connection between the user’s device and the site they intend to visit. Name servers contain DNS records for each domain that they control, which include information regarding IP addresses, mail servers, and other critical components related to the domain. When a user types a URL into their web browser, the browser sends a request to a name server to resolve the domain name.

The name server then retrieves the corresponding IP address from its records and returns it to the user’s browser. Consequently, the browser establishes a connection to the web server hosting the website using the provided IP address, and the desired webpage is displayed. Thus, name servers act as essential intermediaries in the digital world, bridging the gap between human-friendly domain names and the computer-readable language of IP addresses, ultimately making the internet much more accessible and user-friendly.

Examples of Name Server

Google Public DNS: Google Public DNS is a popular name server service provided by Google. It offers a reliable, secure, and fast Domain Name System (DNS) resolution. Users can configure their devices or network to use Google’s name server IP addresses (8 and4) to access the internet efficiently and improve web browsing experience.

Cloudflare DNS: Cloudflare provides a globally distributed name server service calledThis service is known for its performance, privacy, and security features. By using Cloudflare’s public DNS resolver (1), users can benefit from faster internet connections, reduced latency, and enhanced privacy as their requests are not logged and sold to advertisers.

OpenDNS: OpenDNS is a widely used name server service that offers DNS resolution with additional features like web content filtering, phishing protection, and malware prevention. It is commonly used by businesses, educational institutions, and home users to create a safer browsing environment. Users can configure their devices to use OpenDNS’s name server addresses (222 and220) to take advantage of these added security features.

Name Server FAQ

1. What is a Name Server?

A Name Server, also known as Domain Name System (DNS) server, is responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses. It acts as an intermediate between human-readable names and the machine-recognizable IP addresses, making it easier for users to access websites or other resources on the internet.

2. What are the main benefits of using Name Servers?

Name Servers simplify user experience by allowing them to use easily-remembered domain names instead of numbers-based IP addresses. Moreover, they enable admins to manage domain information (e.g., IP addresses), update the location of a domain without affecting the site visitors, and ensure better website load times by distributing traffic through multiple servers.

3. What is the difference between a primary and secondary Name Server?

A primary (also known as the master) Name Server contains the original zone file for a domain and is responsible for managing it. A secondary (also known as the slave) Name Server obtains a copy of the zone file from the primary Name Server and serves as a backup in case the primary is unavailable. Both primary and secondary servers can respond to DNS queries, thereby increasing redundancy, fault tolerance, and efficiency.

4. How do I configure Name Servers for my domain?

To configure Name Servers for your domain, you need to perform two main steps: (1) Add or update the DNS records in your domain registrar’s control panel (e.g., by setting the A/CNAME records, etc.), and (2) Change the Name Server of your domain to the ones provided by your hosting or DNS provider. Steps to configure Name Servers may vary between providers, so refer to your registrar’s and hosting/DNS provider’s documentation for specific instructions.

5. How long does it take for Name Server changes to take effect?

Name Server changes can take anywhere from a few minutes to up to 48 hours to fully propagate across the internet. This period, known as DNS propagation, depends on several factors like the caching duration (TTL) set for your DNS records, geographical location, and how often the internet service providers (ISPs) update their DNS caches. It’s essential to give enough time for the changes to propagate before testing your domain.

Related Technology Terms

  • DNS (Domain Name System)
  • Domain Registration
  • Zone Files
  • IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)
  • Host (Hostname)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents