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What is DNS?

The  domain name system , more commonly known by its acronym in English as  Domain Name System or DNS , is basically responsible for translating the complicated series of numbers that make up an IP address into words that the user can easily remember.

Each web page is accessed through an IP address. The problem is that there are so many that it is practically impossible to remember the IP of each one.  Imagine that instead of entering  www.google.com  we had to enter an address composed of a series of numbers like this in the browser : 173.194.141.238. As we can see, it would be a very complex task to enter the IP of each of the pages, as  well as a practically impossible task.

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DNS is used to solve this problem  . This allows the use of names (also called domains) instead of IP to access websites. Basically, on the Internet, DNS is a set of large databases distributed on servers around the world that indicate that IP is associated with a name (that is, an address such as www.google.com).

How DNS works

Internet DNS services are a set of databases scattered on servers around the world . These databases have the function of indicating the IP that is associated with a name of a website. When we enter an address in the search engine, for example, www.google.com, the computer asks the DNS servers of the Internet provider to find the IP address associated with www.google.com. If the servers do not have that information, a search occurs with other servers that may have it.

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Root server

To better understand DNS, let’s go to the following example: suppose you access the website www.google.com.ar. For this, the server verifies and directs towards the .ar termination server, which for its part, redirects to the server that registers the google.com.ar domain, which informs which is the IP, that is, the server where it is located located the web.

DNS cache

Suppose you access a website that has not been located by your provider’s DNS service , so that it has had to do a search in other DNS servers (through hierarchical search). To prevent this search from being carried out again when another user of the provider tries to access the same website,  the DNS service saves the information from the first query. Thus, when another request arises, the server will already have the IP belonging to said website stored. This procedure is known as “DNS cache”.

The cache information is stored for a certain period of time  through a parameter known as TTL (Time-To-Live). This is used to prevent the saved information from being updated. The TTL time frame varies depending on the server  and your administrator.

Ending

The use of DNS is not limited to the internet . This resource can (and is) also used in local networks. Its implementation can be done in practically any operating system, being very common in systems based on Unix and Windows.

Improve browsing speed by configuring DNS

As we saw above, the DNS system (Domain Name System), or “Domain Name System” in its Spanish translation is basically the method that allows us to resolve the name of any web address and thus be able to connect without having to remember extensive series of numbers. In this article we will learn how to get the best out of it to achieve better connection speeds.

The moment we run our preferred browser and write a web address in its address bar to access the content hosted on the site,  the DNS service will translate these names , understandable to all of us, into elements that can be understood and used. by the equipment and systems that make up the Internet.

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This methodology is used with the purpose of being able to  find, address and interconnect multiple computers around the world in a relatively simple way.

The user who has some experience in the subject will know that in Windows, this system is configured by default to automatically use the DNS server of our Internet service provider , also known as ISP.

While this setup model  is actually very effective and users don’t have to take any action to make it work , it can sometimes be the cause of internet connection issues like slow and inability to load pages.

In the event that this is a common problem of our connection,  then the need to find another one that works and provides its services correctly and effectively becomes evident  .

At this point, we can have as an alternative different DNS providers such as  OpenDNS , UltraDNS or Google DNS, but we must always bear in mind that these providers guarantee us enough security to navigate calmly and without worries.

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It should be noted that in order to test the response time of the DNS server and know if it suits us, we can use a console tool called Dig.

Find the most appropriate DNS server

For this we have an excellent tool called  Namebench , which will allow us to find which is the most appropriate server for our needs. Once executed, this application will load the default name servers of the system, and from this point the program is ready for us to configure and use it.

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To do this, just press the “Start Benchmark” button for Namebench to offer us  a list of the three fastest and most effective DNS servers for our location .

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How to change DNS server

Step 1

Once we have the Namebench data  , changing the DNS server address is really very simple, all we have to do is click on the Start menu, and in the “Search programs and files” space write  ncpa.cpl .

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Step 2

When the “Network Connections” window is displayed , we  select the corresponding connection and with the right mouse button we choose the “Properties” option .

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Step 3

We select “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4)” and click on the “Properties” button .

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Step 4

In the window that appears, the “General” tab , click on “Use the following DNS server addresses “.

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After that, we enter the data obtained from Namebench.

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