Name Server (DNS)

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A Name Server (also called a domain name server) is a server responsible for translating domain names to IP addresses.  DNS is an acronym for Domain Name Server, and is the system used to translate word-based addresses of systems (such as WWW.EXAMPLE.COM) to the numerical IP (Internet Protocol) address of the computer or system that should be located at that address. All computers and systems on the Internet use addresses that look similar to: 5.8.15.16 While you can access a domain directly by typing the IP address as http://5.8.15.16, because long strings of numbers are hard to remember, most people access websites by typing in the domain name. When you use an alphanumeric address such as WWW.EXAMPLE.COM, your computer needs to understand what numerical IP addresses it needs to contact, and this is accomplished through DNS servers. The answer is delivered back to the requesting computer via the DNS listed for the domain name. All domains have at least two DNS servers as seen through WHOIS lookups such as NS1.EXAMPLE.COM and NS2.EXAMPLE.COM, and your request for anything related to the domain name gets sent to one of these servers. In response, the DNS server sends back the IP address that your computer should contact.  This works for the Web Site, Mail Servers, and anything else based on the domain name. You can usually use the default name servers provided by your domain name registrar, those used by your web hosting company, or if you have root access, you can set up name servers that match your own domain name.