February 6, 2021

What are Nameservers?

If you are new to the world of web hosting, or, an already experienced user, you may have come across the term nameservers.

Nameservers essentially help connect your domain and its URLs with the IP address of the webserver it sits on. Nameservers play a crucial part of DNS (Domain Name Systems), which you often here people refer to as the “yellow pages of the web”.

In this blog post, we will explore the topic in more thorough detail and by the end of it, you will be an expert in nameservers in no time!

How do nameservers work?

When a visitor enters a URL into their browser, for example, “snappyhost.co.uk”, there needs to be a way to connect that URL with the web server that hosts that domain name.

Imagine how tedious it would be if you had to enter the IP address of a web server every time to access the website you wish to visit. You would find it incredibly frustrating entering 146.64.221.113 – it is just not practical.

Nameservers take away that whole malarkey by connecting the URL with the IP address of the server and show it in a more human-readable format. 

How do know what nameservers look like? When you look at any website’s nameservers you will more than likely see a minimum of two nameservers (though you can use more than two). Here is an example of what they may look:

  • ns1.google-21.com
  • ns2.google-53.net

Instead of just serving the website, the nameservers will help route traffic.

Here is a more thorough example of what goes on behind the scenes, when you visit Snappy Host:

  • You type “snappyhost.co.uk” into your address bar and hit enter.
  • A request is sent from your browser, to the domain’s nameservers.
  • The request is sent back with the IP address of the hosts server.
  • Your browser requests the content of that website from that IP address.
  • The browser retrieves the content which is the rendered into your browser.

Summary

Nameservers play a crucial role in directing traffic to your site on the internet by connecting your domain name with the IP address of the server it is hosted on.

To do this, they assist the web browser, and any other services that access your DNS records.

If you're wanting to buy a domain name, then you can check our domain pricing

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