What is DNS? and what are Nameservers?

DNS or Domain Name System, put simply is the method used to allow all users to browse the web.

Info: For a more in depth explanation we need to understand where a website is hosted.

A website is hosted on a computer that is set up to serve web pages, these are known as servers.

Each server has a unique (IP) address that is normally in the form of a set of numbers, for example so it can be found over the internet by your computer.

A list of numbers may be easy for a computer to understand and remember it is not very user friendly for us, so we use Domain Names to find websites instead.

What DNS does is link the Domain to the address so we don’t have to deal with the numbers.

So in effect the DNS is like a phone book for the internet, allowing your computer to find the number for a website.

Nameservers are simply a set of servers (computers) that contain the DNS information.

The DNS is stored, on Nameservers, in what is known as a zone file

For example here is a simplified DNS zone record for names.co.uk:

Domain name -> IP Address
names.co.uk ->

As you can see names.co.uk is on the number

So when searching for names.co.uk the computer knows to go to

Was this article helpful?

Related guides