Explained: Difference between Nameservers Vs. DNS, Hostripples Web Hosting

Explained: Difference between Nameservers Vs. DNS

The web hosting industry is growing every minute, day, and year. It has many terminologies that are important to understand especially for beginners who want to start a web hosting company or people who want to gain maximum knowledge on web hosting.

In like manner, these two terminologies: Nameservers and DNS are popular in the web hosting industry. This article is written to understand what nameservers and domain name systems (DNS) are and how they work.

Let’s roll in dept

What are the Nameservers?

A nameserver acts like a translator on the internet. It is a director who acts behind the scenes to help connect the domain names you type into your browser with the corresponding IP addresses that computers use.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

  1. You enter a domain name (like [invalid URL removed]) into your browser.
  2. Your computer contacts a nameserver.
  3. The nameserver checks its records (DNS records) to find the IP address associated with that domain name.
  4. Once it finds the IP address, the nameserver returns it to your computer.
  5. Your computer uses the IP address to connect to the website’s server and load the content.

What is DNS?

It is a domain name system protocol that holds records of which domain names communicate to particular IP addresses. DNS allows you to browse the web by typing in regular URLSs rather IP addresses.

How DNS works?

DNS works in partnership with the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet protocol (IP), which inform how computers communicate via the Internet and private networks. Here, DNS converts simple domain names to IP addresses.

Moreover, take DNS as a phone directory. It includes records on web devices, such as computers and servers, and their nearby IP addresses.

All domain has their own DNS records, which consist of a nameserver. These are produced when you register the domain name with a web hosting provider or a domain registrar. Therefore, your nameserver focuses on your domain name to the IP address of your host or registrar.

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How to Use Nameservers And DNS Records

The DNS records include nameservers, which lead to easy process-making while transferring the domain. There are two main ways to find out which nameservers your domain is currently using:

  1. Check your domain registrar’s control panel: This is the most frequent place to find your nameservers. Most registrars will have a section for managing your domain name, and within that section, there should be a place to view or edit your nameservers. Common sections to look for include “Domain Management,” “DNS Management,” or “Domain Overview.”

  2. Use a free online tool: Several websites can help you look up the nameservers for any domain name. One popular option is MXToolbox [MX Toolbox]. Simply enter your domain name in the search bar and the tool will display the nameservers currently associated with it.

Managing Your Nameservers

In most cases, you won’t need to change your nameservers unless you have a specific reason to do so. Here are a few scenarios where you might manage your nameservers:

  • Switching to a new web host: If you’re moving your website to a new web hosting provider, they will likely give you specific nameservers to use. You’ll need to log in to your domain registrar and update your domain’s nameservers to point to the new ones provided by your web host.
  • Using a custom DNS provider: Some users prefer to use a separate service for managing their DNS records instead of using their domain registrar or web host. If you go this route, you’ll need to update your domain’s nameservers to point to the nameservers provided by your chosen DNS service.

Updating Your Nameservers

The process for updating your nameservers will vary depending on your domain registrar. However, the general steps are usually as follows:

  1. Log in to your domain registrar’s control panel.
  2. Navigate to the section for managing your domain name’s DNS settings.
  3. Locate the option to edit or change your nameservers.
  4. You’ll typically see fields labeled “Nameserver 1” and “Nameserver 2.” Enter the nameservers provided by your web host or DNS service.
  5. Save your changes.

Remember: It can take up to 24 hours to complete the changes to nameservers to propagate throughout the internet. So, during this time, some visitors to your website might see an error message.

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Locating and Managing Your DNS Records

Finding Your DNS Records

Unlike nameservers, which can often be found with a simple lookup, locating your DNS records requires access to a specific control panel. Here’s how to find them:

  1. Identify your DNS management platform:

You have to check your domain registrar. In addition, most of the domain registrars offer basic DNS management tools included with your domain registration.

If you use a separate web hosting service Like Hostripples then your DNS records might be managed through Hostripples’s control panel.

  • Login to the control panel: Use the login credentials provided by your domain registrar or web hosting provider.
  • Navigate to DNS Management: After login, look for sections labeled “Domain Management,” “DNS Zone Editor,” or “DNS Records.” The specific name might vary depending on the platform.

Managing Your DNS Records

Once you’ve located your DNS records, you can typically add, edit, or delete them within the control panel. Here are some common reasons to manage your DNS records:

  • Pointing your domain to a website: You’ll need to edit the A record in your domain’s DNS zone to point it to your website’s IP address. This essentially tells the internet where to find your website.
  • Setting up email for your domain: Move towards creating the MX records to direct emails sent to your domain (like [email address removed]) to your email provider’s server.
  • Subdomains: If you have subdomains like “[invalid URL removed],” you’ll create separate DNS records to point them to their specific resources.
  • Custom applications: Some web applications might require specific DNS records like CNAME records for functionality.

DNS and Nameserver FAQs

Explain the difference between a DNS and a DNS Zone and a Nameserver?

A DNS comes with all DNS records managed by a particular person or organization. It is applicable to one particular domain and related subdomains.

For ex, if you have one example.com, then your DNS zone might include records for:




In conflict, a nameserver is a server computer that hosts DNS zones. It keeps all DNS records saved for your domain and looks up the IP address when advertised.

What is the difference between a DNS Resolver and a Nameserver?

A DNS resolver is a chunk of software that initiates DNS queries whenever you try to operate a website or internet resource using domain name. The resolver contacts nameservers and query “what is the IP address for this domain name?”

The nameserver is the dedicated server computer that has holds DNS records stored and that looks up the right IP address to send back to the resolver.           

What Is TTL in DNS?

TTL is Time to Live. It’s a setting that informs resolvers and other computers how long to cache (temporarily store) a particular DNS record before requesting it again from the nameserver.

This helps to lower downs the queries whenever a domain is looked up, improving website performance. TTL is set in seconds all the time. You’re allowed to select anything between 30 seconds and 86,400 seconds (one whole day) or keep it automatic. Ahead, records are refreshed automatically whenever they’re updated.

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Wrapping Up

When you migrate the website to a new host, aware of the working of nameservers and DNS records work makes the working process simpler and easiest. Just make sure that the domain is pointed to the right nameserver. Else, the audience will face visibility errors on the website.

At Hostripples, we aim to make life smooth by managing the whole transition process, including domain transfers.

In addition, you are allowed to manage your domains and DNS from your hosting account with us, and your domain will get free privacy protection.

Explained: Difference between Nameservers Vs. DNS, Hostripples Web Hosting
Ekta Tripathi
A passionate Digital Marketing Ex and Content Writer working with Hostripples. I am passionate about writing blogs related to Information Technology and Digital Marketing. In my free time, I love to listen songs, spend time with my daughters and hang around social networking sites.