Domain Names

What are name servers for domains and what are they used for?

3 Mins read

“A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how we get there.” -Jon Postel

When you buy domain name for your online business, you own a name with which people will identify it, an address where your website will be visible on the internet and a route through which people will reach to your site, easily.

But, as you name your website, millions of other people across the globe, also register their websites with different but unique domain names. So there are millions of websites in the world with different names and addresses.

Then, what makes people reach to their desired destination? Just a click on the browser! No. The magic begins behind the scene.

How does a web page appear in a browser?

Everything that’s connected to the Internet – websites, computers, laptops and other devices, have an IP address made up of numbers. But IP address is a string of numbers and is difficult to remember, so to make them easier for humans, domain names are used instead, to reach websites as they are easy to recognize and remember. So, it is the domain name that you enter into a web browser in order to reach a specific website and this is how a web page appears.

All the information of domain names – including registration information, emails, addresses of web host is stored and managed by domain name system.
Domain name servers control different aspects of domain name with the help of different elements- nameservers, A zone file, Records, CNAME and other elements.

All elements are important but in this post, we will discuss about domain name servers-the GPS system of the computer in online world.

What is a name server for domains?

A nameserver is a web server that helps to identify location of a domain name on the internet. They translate into and map human readable domain names with respective IP addresses (four digit numerals), of the respective web server (hosting that particular site) to find a website, communicate across the network and return to the desired web address. They point domain name to the company that controls its DNS settings- company with which the domain name is registered.

Nameservers are managed by a web host and are assigned on a per-domain basis.

How many domain name servers are provided?

Every web site has two name servers –ns1 and ns2 to which domain is pointed. They are set by the web host on the purchase of a domain name and a web hosting account.

Ns1 is the first server listed as the primary server, while the second one-Ns2 is used as a backup server, if, the first server is not responding.

How it works?


Just as your phone is connected to the phone network, your computer is connected to the internet network .So when you want to reach any website, you type in the domain name /web address, into a web browser for e.g. when you type your computer will go to the domain registrar and request the name-servers for the domain name, then it will go to the name-servers and request the IP address for the domain name and then finally retrieve the desired website.

What are they used for?

Domain name servers are used –

  • To covert domain names into respective IP addresses and locate the web address (website) hosted on a specific web host.
  • To divert traffic that comes on your domain name to a web server at a specific web host.
  • To make a website or an online business visible on the internet.
  • To help your customers, locate your business.
  • To safeguard data from being accessed by unwanted people as these DNS servers are monitored on a daily basis and consist of latest security patches.
  • For breaking domain names into subdomains.

If you have any doubt regarding this write-up, feel free to contact and drop comments in the section below.

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About author
Lipika Is a fun loving person who enjoys writing. She loves learning about all things technical and loves guiding others about it. In her free time, she likes dancing and listening to music. You can catch her at Google+.
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