If you are just getting started as a webmaster the whole concept of DNS configuration and domain nameservers can be an extremely confusing one. DNS, or Domain Name System, is a unique naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the internet. Basically what this naming system does is associates information with domain names, which are much easier for humans to process than their numerical identifiers, making it more efficient for computers to communicate around the world.
Domain nameservers are used to manage the various zones of authority that make up the domain name space hierarchy. Whenever someone tries to visit a website these domain nameservers are queried as a way to speed up the process of loading a website. The domain nameservers store information about websites so that these websites can be rendered quickly when accessed around the web. There are two types of nameservers, authoritative nameservers and recursive and caching nameservers.
Authoritative nameservers give answers that have been configured by an original source. When you purchase a domain you have the ability to change certain features of that domain. These changes will be reflected in the authoritative nameservers, which only return answers about domain names that have been configured by the administrator. When domain names are registered with a domain name registrar it is required that these domains are assigned a primary nameserver as well as a secondary nameserver (you can check these for every domain at NameServerLookup.net). Two nameservers are required so that your website will still be functional should the primary, or authoritative nameserver, become inaccessible.
Recursive and caching nameservers differ slightly from authoritative nameservers in that they store information from the authoritative nameservers for quick access around the web. In an effort to speed up the performance of end user applications the Domain Name System utilizes a series of caching nameservers around the internet. Each time a website is accessed your computer must go out on the web and resolve the domain name, or website, that you type into a series of numbers known as an IP address. Instead of processing all of this information back to the original server that hosts that website, caching nameservers are installed along the process that store the same information as the authoritative nameservers, which can be used to access the website much more quickly. Caching nameservers make the internet much more efficient.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a webmaster is understanding the technical details that run the internet. The Domain Name System is one of these intricate technicalities that is used to make the internet a much more efficient process. One of the more complicated parts of the Domain Name System is domain nameservers. These domain nameservers relay information about websites to the various internet servers around the world, making it possible to access your favorite websites.
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