With over 4 billion users worldwide, the internet is a place where many different operations happen each day. People check their social media accounts, make eCommerce purchases, and connect with loved ones all around the world.
Because the internet is constantly in use, using name servers to access domains is essential to keep it running correctly. If your website isn’t properly hosted, people are going to be unable to access it. Of course, this will cause your business to suffer.
Here, we’re going to discuss some of the main options you have for web hosting. Read on to learn what a name server is, why this is important, and the various types that you can choose from when making your website go live.
What Are Name Servers?
In the most basic terms, a name server makes connections between URLs and the websites that they correspond to. This is the reason that you’re directed to a specific page when you enter a URL into your browser.
But how does this function work, exactly?
Every device that’s connected to the world wide web- your computer included- has a unique IP address. This IP address needs to connect to the Domain Name System (DNS) in order to connect to the internet. Name servers are a part of the DNS, and they act as a directory to link IP addresses to it. For this reason, name servers are sometimes referred to as ‘DNS servers.’
They link IP addresses by taking domain names of websites and translating them into numerical IP, which is the code that computers are able to work with. When you type in the URL of the website you’re visiting, the name server tells the browser you’re using where the website is located. It links your IP address to the IP address of where the page you’re accessing is stored.
Why Do We Need This?
Without a name server, you would need to memorize a computer’s IP address in order to access the websites that you use daily. You couldn’t simply memorize the URL of your favorite websites. Instead, you would need to remember a long IP address and type it into your browser whenever you wanted to go to the page. Name servers save a lot of time and energy for computer users like you!
This, of course, would make it difficult for people to access your website. It would make the internet a much less user-friendly place, and everyone would need to come up with ways to remember all of the IP addresses of sites that they wanted to access.
Types of Name Servers
Now that you know what a name server is, it’s time to take a closer look at the types of DNS servers are out there. There are four key types of servers, and they all work together to link your IP address to the site that you’re accessing. Read on to learn more about how name servers work to
When you request that your server’s information be sent to a DNS server so that they can sync up, this is known as a DNS query (or DNS request).
A recursive resolver, sometimes called a DNS recursor, is not a name server. Rather, it is the starting point that your DNS query goes to when beginning its journey to the name server. The recursive resolver is a stop on the way to the name server, and it basically serves as a middle man to capture and deal with the DNS query.
After it receives a DNS query, the DNS recursor will send three requests:
- Access to a root name server
- Access to a TLD name server
- Access to an authoritative name server
Let’s take a look at what happens when it grants access to each one of these servers!
Root Name Servers
For each recursive revolver, there are 13 root name servers. One of them will accept the DNS query that has already gone through the recursive revolver. This query now includes a domain name such as .com, .org, .net, or .gov. The root name server will direct the recursive revolver to a TLD server with the same domain as your query.
In short, this is the point that your IP connects with the domain of the site that you’re visiting!
TLD Name Servers
As we said before, TLD servers each have a different domain. They maintain information or every domain name that shares a common extension. For example, one server may maintain .com sites while another one may keep up .net ones.
Today, your machine sent out a DNS query to access greathostingreviews.com. (Great choice, by the way!) It received a response from the root name server and was sent by a recursive resolver to a .com TLD name server. Because of this, you were able to connect to the domain that allowed your browser to open the website.
In order for you to actually open the .com site, though, your query needed to be sent from the TLD name server to an authoritative one.
Authoritative Name Servers
Authoritative name servers are the final step on the resolver’s quest to find an IP address. This server has specific information for the domain name that it serves. It then can give a DNS precursor with the IP address of that server found on the DNS A record, which is a program that points to the IP address from its domain name.
Once that happens, your browser will be able to open the website!
While this process may sound like a long and complicated one, it takes no more than a few seconds. Every time you go to open a new website in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or any other browser, this process takes place. Computers and their associated programs truly are fascinating!
How to Check a Domain Name’s Servers
In order for your name server to work properly, you’ll need to make sure that it is correctly pointing to the hosting service that you use. The exact way that this works depends on the hosting platform that you choose, but the backbone of the directions remains the same.
You can use the domain tool WHOIS to make sure that your domain is properly applied. Here’s how:
- Go to Accounts –> Details and then click on the Nameservers section
- Take note of the name server details
- Use the lookup tool to find current name servers by typing your domain name in the WHOIS search bar
- Look at your domain details
- Compare the name servers that you got in steps (2) and (4)
If they match, congratulations! You’re good to go.
There are also other online tools that you can use to check domain applications. Additionally, you can use your system consoles to find these name servers if you’re on Windows, macOS, or Linux. Click here for more information on how to access this information on each specific operating system!
This process is especially important when you’re switching to a new hosting provider since this is the service that provides you with name servers. You need to update the DNS servers that you’re using every time you transfer your domain to a new hosting service. This is because moving it can make your website inaccessible to users if you don’t correct your DNS server’s details.
Popular Hosting Name Servers
You now know how hosting name servers work to link your machine to an external IP. Awesome! It’s time to look at the top 10 name servers that you can use. Here, we’re going to provide you with a brief overview of each server so that you can choose the one that looks right for your needs!
Note that all servers on this list have unmetered bandwidth and uptime of over 99%. Those are the minimum qualifications for being in Great Hosting Reviews’ top 10! After all, high standards are the key to success.
What Are Bluehost Name Servers?
Bluehost is one web hosting service that provides amazing service. With access to marketing services and other tools intended to help you boost your website globally, it’s built to ensure that your domain is successful in connecting with machines. The primary function of web hosting name servers is to ensure that people can access your page without lagging or dealing with broken links, and Bluehost- along with all the platforms on this list- does a great job of this.
Here are some of the main benefits of Bluehost:
- Money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied within the first month
- 24/7 customer support
- Easy installation for WordPress sites
Here are the name servers offered by Bluehost:
Like Bluehost, Hostinger is a platform that’s optimized for use with WordPress sites. It’s a bit cheaper, offering plans starting from 99¢/month. However, it doesn’t have the one-click WordPress installation that Bluehost has. Some of its best features are:
- Selection of your own domain name
- Free domain hosting
- Free SSL
- Unlimited features and constant backups
Here are the name servers offered by Hostinger:
Love to save money? GreenGeeks may be right for you:
- Free registration for your domain
- Free SSL certification
- Free CloudFare CDN
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Here are the name servers offered by GreenGeeks:
DreamHost is pretty similar to GreenGeeks, but it is the only hosting platform on this list with limited storage. Its features include:
- 50 GB storage space
- Free domain
- Free site-building tools
- Free SSL and Cloudflare CDN
- 97-day money-back guarantee
Here are the name servers offered by DreamHost:
- ns1.dreamhost.com 64.90. 62.230.
- ns2.dreamhost.com 208.97. 182.10.
- ns3.dreamhost.com 66.33. 205.230.
Many WordPress users also like SiteGround. Here’s why:
- Automated migration from the hosting service to WordPress (you as the user don’t even need to lift a finger!)
- Powered by the Google Cloud which allows for vast storage and automatic backups
- One-month money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied
SiteGround offers custom name servers rather than default ones.
Interserver is another hosting service that many people choose. The main advantages include:
- Unlimited domains that you can choose from
- Unlimited storage space for your domain
- Ability to transfer domains as many times as you like
- Price lock guarantee (you will never have to pay more than your initial monthly fee was)
Here are the name servers offered by Interserver:
- cdns1.interserver.net 184.108.40.206
- cdns2.interserver.net 220.127.116.11
- cdns3.interserver.net 18.104.22.168
If you value customer service above all else, A2 Hosting may be the right platform for you. It offers:
- 24/7 support
- Interactive help with the Guru Crew 365 days/year, including holidays
- 99.9% Uptime commitment
- Money-back guarantee anytime you aren’t satisfied (and no limit on this guarantee!)
Here are the name servers offered by A2 Hosting:
FastComet is the perfect hosting service for people who like everything to be both personal and Cloud-based:
- Free CDN with Cloudfare
- SDD- only Cloud for your business
- 45-day money-back guarantee
On FastCloud, you create your own private name server in the following format. These are their default name servers:
InMotion offers many great benefits, including:
- Free domain of your choosing
- Free SSL
- Free automatic daily backups (you will never lose anything)
- 3-month money-back guarantee
Here are the name servers offered by InMotion:
JustHost is another great service provider. It has:
- Free domain
- Free SSL certification
- Free website builder
- 1-month money-back guarantee
Here are the name servers offered by JustHost:
- ns1.justhost.com 22.214.171.124
- ns2.justhost.com 126.96.36.199
While GoDaddy didn’t rank on our top 10 list, it’s one of the most popular web hosting platforms of all time. Because of this, it’s important that we cover its merits:
- Free website creation (and professional designers, for a fee)
- SSL security built-in
- Domains from 99¢
- Connectivity to WordPress and Office 365
Like SiteGround and FastCloud, GoDaddy offers customized domain servers rather than default ones.
While there are multiple factors to boosting your online visibility, having an appropriate web hosting provider is by far the most important. After all, without these services, your website will be completely inaccessible to users.
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