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I'm confused with DNS server concept, have found a great answer here https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34878780/how-dns-servers-work-know-the-ip-address-of-website but want to know if I have BIND to setup DNS server, what can I do with that? what does it do if I'm setting it up on my windows PC.

Also, Godaddy is famous domain name registrar. What does that do and how does that work? what is DNS resolver ?? Please explain in examples, new to this :/

Webservers are different but Apache is another software thats available to use for my http website. M I correct or missing something?

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Web Server

A web server such as Apache is a piece of software for transferring files (such as web pages) between two computers using a web browser.

DNS Server

Every server on the internet has a public IP address such as 123.123.123.123. This number is how computers locate each other on a network (including the internet) to communicate. You can think of this as something similar to a telephone number.

A DNS server is a server which uses the Domain Name System to provide a way of connecting a domain name such as coolsite.com to a specific IP address. Think of this like calling information. You don't have to know or remember the phone number (the IP address) - you simply call an operator (contact the correct DNS server), give a name (domain) and you are connected to whomever you wish to speak to (the web server).

DNS servers hold DNS records which actually map a domain name to an IP. In BIND specifically, a DNS record entry may look like e.g.:

coolsite.com    IN A    123.123.123.123

Questions

If I have BIND setup as DNS server, what can I do with that? What does it do if I'm setting it up on my Windows PC?

It allows that computer to be the "operator" in the example above (acting as an Authoritative Nameserver). The advantage mainly is in the fact you can then direct "calls" (requests for a website) however you wish, without relying on a third party (which can have a variety of benefits, including saving money). Often this is used to connect outside visitors to specific computer, but you can also do special things on your local network as well, like redirecting requests for public sites (e.g. Google) or creating custom network-only domain extensions (e.g. mysite.lan).

Godaddy is a famous domain name registrar. What does that do and how does that work?

For every Top Level Domain (TLD) such as .com, .net, .org, etc. there is an organization (or organizations) of some sort that manage the DNS server information tied to a domain with a corresponding extension. So, for instance, a company called Verisign handles DNS server information associated with .com domains. There are also (more technically) groups of special DNS servers called the root nameservers run by different organizations where this information is actually stored.

These primary organizations often do not directly deal with the public (or may need assistance), so there are frequently registrars to handle this portion of it. In the case of GoDaddy, they have a contract with Verisign to help people register domain names (e.g. coolsite.com), ask for DNS server information (such as your Windows PC running BIND) and then pass that information along to Verisign. Verisign then helps ensure that if anyone asks for coolsite.com, they get put in contact with the correct DNS server (which returns the IP address of the web server associated with that domain).

[W]hat is a DNS resolver?

DNS resolvers are DNS servers that help find the IP of a website if that IP address is otherwise unknown to your computer (they help "resolve" e.g. coolsite.com to 123.123.123.123 by making a series of requests to other DNS servers, often including to the root nameservers, to find out that IP).

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Webservers are different but Apache is another software thats available to use for my http website

Yes, they're a different thing, but there are many parallels between DNS and HTTP. See the comparison below.

if I have BIND to setup DNS server, what can I do with that?

BIND actually provides two different functions, depending on what you need from it:

  • "Authoritative" nameservers are like webservers: they directly provide data for a specific domain.

    • Apache, Nginx, IIS are software which can serve websites, by responding to HTTP requests. You ask them for an URL, they give you the file.
    • BIND, NSD, Knot are software which can serve domains, by responding to DNS requests. You ask them for a domain name, they give you the IP address.


    For example, GoDaddy (like many other registrars) lets you use their authoritative nameservers as a free extra service. You can certainly set up BIND, specify it in GoDaddy's control panel, write a "zone file" listing all your subdomains, and host your domain yourself that way.

  • "Resolvers" are somewhat like proxies: they pass your requests along to the real authoritative nameserver (or to another proxy). They also perform caching.

    • Squid is a web proxy. Apache can host websites and/or be a proxy.
    • Unbound is a DNS resolver. BIND can host domains and/or be a resolver.


    Almost every ISP provides customers with a few "recursive" resolvers, which do the job of finding and querying the needed authoritative servers. Google's 8.8.8.8 is also a recursive resolver.

    Meanwhile, your home router often has a small "proxy" resolver that just forwards the requests to the ISP's resolvers, but still provides local caching. (Often software like Unbound or "dnsmasq" is used for this, but BIND can do the same as well.)

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