Hosting Tutorial & Guide

What Is A Domain Name Server? How to Update It?

updated on Sep 14, 2014
What Is A Domain Name Server? How to Update It? This basic tutorial mainly explains what a Domain Name Server is, how it works, and how to update it manually when necessary. As DNS server is an important feature to take care if you want your domain to function correctly with your host or when you transfer a domain from your registrar to somewhere else, you need to take some time to know the basics about it in the case that you have little knowledge about the feature and have no idea on managing it.

What Is A Domain Name Server?

Domain Name Servers, which is also called DNS servers, are hardware or software servers that function as a component of Domain Name System. They maintain a database of domain names and hostnames and translate the items to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to make them available for others to access. Machines use IP addresses to identify and locate resources on the Internet instead of domain names, after all.

For example, when you visit a website domain like BestHostingSearch, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) browses the domain's nameservers first and translate it into an IP address, and then your Internet connection can be directed to the right place and you are able to visit the site.

All domain names are distributed at a minimum of 2 DNS servers. For instance, if you have a domain hosted with InMotion Hosting, the nameservers are ns.inmotionhosting.com and ns2.inmotionhosting.com. When someone makes a request on anything related to your domain, the request is sent to one of the servers and the server then responds with an IP address that is used to get the related information from your domain.

When you register a domain name or update the DNS server, it usually takes 12 to 36 hours for the changes to be activated worldwide as web hosts and ISPs update DNS information on a regular basis but not at anytime.

How to Update Your DNS Servers?

How to Update Your DNS Servers It is a common situation that you have chosen a domain name and registered it somewhere, but weeks or months later, you need to transfer it to another web host because of the poor performance of the previous host or some other reasons. Before the transfer process is completed, the last step should be pointing the old nameservers to the new ones offered by your new host to redirect your traffic.

The process is not complicated. You can just contact the domain registrar or your host for guidance, or the task can also be done by following a simple instruction like the following guide shows. Note that the steps below are based on the operation of transferring a domain registered at GoDaddy to another web host.
  1. Sign into My Account in the navigation list on the bottom of GoDaddy homepage.
  2. In the Products section, click Launch next to DOMAINS.
  3. Check the box next to the domain name that you want to make changes.
  4. In the drop-down menu of the Nameservers icon, choose to Set Nameservers.
  5. On the new page, select Custom when configuring Setup type.
  6. Edit nameservers to be the new ones that are offered by your host. Once you Save the changes, there is a page popping-up saying that "Your changes have been submitted." And now you have accomplished the update. Just wait for the changes to take effect.

There is one thing to pay attention that if you are using domain privacy registration to protect personal information, domain transfer is not allowed, and you should disable the service first before managing the migration of domain and the update of nameservers.