DNS

What is primary DNS?

When a browser, device or app needs to translate a human-readable
domain name into a computer-readable IP address, DNS makes
it happen—and primary DNS is the first point of contact.

Primary DNS servers

Anyone who owns a domain has primary DNS, which is a domain’s main authoritative nameserver. This server stores the IP address and other important information related to a specific website. Before an internet user can be sent to their desired destination on the web, their recursive resolver must retrieve the information stored within the primary server. 

How does primary DNS work?

Aside from storing DNS record information, DNS also translates domain names from human-readable words (like digicert.com) into a computer-readable IP address. A domain’s primary DNS server provides the IP address.

What does DNS server not responding mean?

This error message generally happens as a result of misconfigurations or network connectivity issues on the end of the user, but the error can also be a result of an outage on the side of the internet service provider (ISP) or the domain’s primary DNS provider if no redundancy measures are in place.

How can DNS errors be avoided?

Primary DNS providers can’t prevent user-related problems from popping up, but they can help protect domains from DNS-related outages through the use of secondary DNS. In this case, the secondary DNS provider holds a copy of the same data held by the primary DNS provider, which means a domain with secondary DNS would have not one authoritative DNS server, but two. In the case of an outage, queries that can’t be resolved by the primary provider will be automatically directed to the secondary provider with no noticeable effects on the side of the end user.

Another benefit of having a secondary DNS configuration is that resolvers learn which nameserver is faster. Since they typically prefer the fastest resource, end users trying to reach the domain have a faster, more positive experience.