What is DNS?

You’ve probably heard the term DNS before in connection with the Internet, but you may not be familiar with what it means or how it works.

DNS stands for “Domain Name Server” and it’s basically a system that receives a domain name – for example, Amazon.com or 1and1.com – and translates it into an IP address. A user reads a domain name as word or series of words, but the servers work solely with IP addresses. (An actual IP address would just be a long series of numbers and dots and almost impossible to remember.)

For example, when you enter a domain to visit like Amazon.com, it sends a request to the receiving server, which returns its corresponding IP address.

A DNS can also deny specific IP addresses. For example, YouTube videos are sometimes limited to specific countries only. So, if you try to watch a video that’s blocked in your country, and the receiving server has your IP address – which is country-related – on a “blacklist,” it will return a “no access” message.


PCs and other devices used in the online world use IP addresses to route traffic to the right destination. So, if you enter a domain, your DNS will search for where they can find that address. The receiving-name server will then “tell” your DNS what the address of the domain is.

Your DNS will then give that address to your browser. With that address, your browser will then load the domain you submitted.

While this entire process seems like it would take a long time, this whole cycle takes less time than it takes you to blink an eye!

That being said, the network settings of your PC or router determine what DNS you can use. By default, the DNS that you are using is probably selected by your ISP.

But there might be a faster DNS available for you! And I’m going to tell you exactly how to find a faster one to use.

We’ll have more on how to select a faster DNS tomorrow or you can check out Bill Hess’s complete article on the subject over at Pixel Privacy right now by clicking here.

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