There are millions of active websites on the internet. The study shows that about 4 billion websites exist on the internet, from which only 400 million websites are functional. And more than five hundred thousand new websites are created globally on daily basis. All the websites are hosted and managed on web servers located around the world.
To find the hosting of a website, you need a proper and well-managed directory; without that, it would be impossible to find the website on the internet.
DNS stands for "Domain Name System" or "Domain Name Servers" is the largest digital database on the internet. It is like a "Phone Book." The database contains information about each website on the internet. Each device on the internet has a unique numeric identifier, known as IP address. The domain name and the IP address of the website are stored in the database. The data files that map the web browser query to the right destination are known as DNS records.
What is a server?
If you are managing your website, you know the term "server" and its functionality. In computing, a server is a dedicated computer or a computer program that provides services or facilitates access to other programs or devices on the internet. The clients are mostly the desktop and mobile operating systems that enable building the connection between web browsers and DNS servers.
What is Nameserver? Introduction to Nameservers
We already know that computers only understand the numeric language. DNS plays an essential role in translating the human-readable domain address like example.com to computer-readable numeric language.
What are nameservers in DNS, and why are they so crucial for websites like yours?
Name server(s) are mostly spelled as "Nameserver(s)" are an integral part of the Domain Name System. Nameserver is the server on the internet that is specialized and authorized to handle the queries related to the location (DNS records) of the domain name's different services.
People mostly heard about the nameservers, but they have little understanding of the functionality of the nameservers. Nameserver works whenever someone enters the website URL in the browser bar and access that website.
Nameserver translates the domain address to a numeric language known as IP address (the language that computers quickly understand). That process is so instant that one can barely notice it. Therefore, you cannot deny the importance of the nameserver; without that, you must memorize the long and complicated numeric strings to access a specific website.
The nameservers keep the DNS records such as address (A, AAAA) records, name server (NS) records, and mail exchanger (MX) records for a domain name. Also, its job is to provide DNS records to everyone that requests it. The nameserver is like a phone book, and the DNS records are the individual entries in that phone book.
Each nameserver has its address and holds the DNS records of several websites. For example, a hosting company examplehosting.com may have the nameservers with the following address.
Whenever you request any domain address on the internet, that request is sent to one of the nameservers authorized to handle that request. The nameserver authorized to deal with the DNS queries related to your website is your website/domain's DNS server. Therefore, your website's nameserver and your website's DNS server are the same thing's alternative names.
All domains on the internet must have at least two nameservers. You can get the nameservers associated with each domain through its NS Lookup. Nameservers are mostly managed by your domain name registrar or the web hosting provider.
Domain Name and Web Hosting
However, do not mix the domain name with web hosting. Both are different. The domain name is like the website's address, and web hosting is the server where all the website files are stored. It is like the house of the website. To build a website, you need both a domain name and a web hosting account. Today, almost all domain registrars are providing web hosting facilities to their clients. You can buy the domain name and web hosting from the same company or use different companies for each service. However, in that case, you have to direct your domain name to your web hosting company by changing the DNS settings in your domain registrar account by entering your hosting provider's nameservers. When you use the hosting provider's nameservers, your website/domain's DNS servers are the hosting provider company's nameservers.
Web Hosting and CDN(s)
Today, page speed is one of the essential factors that affect your SEO ranking. The user does not want to wait for more than 3 seconds for the web page to load. Therefore, CDN(s) (Content Delivery Network) is gaining popularity. CDN's replicate your website content to multiple servers located across their network and serve your website from the nearest server to the client.
KeyCDN (CDN provider) conducted a study with DigitalOcean (web hosting provider). The result shows that the load time of the DigitalOcean without KeyCDN was 612 ms, and with KeyCDN, it was 378 ms. So just by setting up the CDN, you can minimize your website load time up to 38.24%.
Note: Use nameserver to perform the IP lookup to get the IP and the location of that nameserver. However, is the case, if you are using the CDN, each time when you enter the nameserver address, you might get different IP and geo-location because, in CDN, they serve your website from multiple server locations worldwide.
Therefore, you cannot deny the importance of nameservers. They route the traffic to the correct destination by converting the domain or the website address into an IP address, instantly, that you can ever notice it. Each domain on the internet must have at least two DNS servers. You can even go further to more than two but would be needed when you want to distribute your DNS lookup load. Having the DNS server of your website nearest to your targeted audience helps make the query load fast and better page load speed. Therefore, webmasters prefer to go after CDN for fast speed, better performance, better SEO rank, robust security, and privacy protection.