Get Your DNS Server Working in 3 Simple Steps – Troubleshooting Guide

Is your DNS server not working? Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered with this simple troubleshooting guide. DNS servers are critical components of any network, and when they fail, it can bring the entire system down. However, the good news is that in most cases, you can get your DNS server back up and running in just a few simple steps.

Before you start troubleshooting your DNS server, make sure you understand what it is and how it works. DNS, or Domain Name System, is responsible for translating human-readable domain names like into machine-readable IP addresses that computers can understand.

In this guide, we’ll take you through three simple steps to get your DNS server working again. We’ll also cover common DNS errors to avoid, how to prevent future DNS issues, and expert tips for optimizing your DNS server performance. So, let’s get started!

Are you ready to solve your DNS server problems once and for all? Keep reading to learn how you can quickly get your DNS server working again and avoid downtime for your network.

Step 1: Check Your Network Connection

When your DNS server stops working, it’s always a good idea to start by checking your network connection. If you are unable to connect to the internet, it could be a problem with your router or modem, and not necessarily with your DNS server.

Firstly, make sure that all the cables connected to your router or modem are firmly plugged in. Check if the device’s power LED is on, and if it’s not, then try plugging the device into another power outlet. If you are still unable to connect to the internet, try resetting your modem or router by pressing the reset button.

If you’re using Wi-Fi, ensure that your device is connected to the right network and that you have entered the correct password. You can also try resetting your Wi-Fi network by turning off your router, waiting for a minute, and turning it back on again.

Is Your Network Connection Active?

  1. Check your network cable: Ensure that your network cable is properly plugged in and not damaged. Try unplugging and plugging it back in to make sure it is securely connected.

  2. Check your router: Power off your router and modem for a few seconds, then turn them back on. Wait for the network lights to stabilize and see if your connection has improved.

  3. Restart your computer: Sometimes simply restarting your computer can solve network connection issues. Try this before proceeding with other troubleshooting steps.

  4. Check for software updates: Ensure that your operating system and network drivers are up to date. Outdated software can cause network issues.

  5. Disable your firewall: If you have a firewall enabled, try disabling it temporarily to see if it is causing issues with your network connection.

If you have gone through the above steps and your network connection is still not working, it may be time to move on to checking your DNS server settings.

Step 2: Verify Your DNS Server Settings

After checking your network connection, the next step is to verify your DNS server settings. DNS servers are responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, which allow devices to connect to the internet. If your DNS settings are incorrect, you may experience slow internet speeds or be unable to connect to certain websites.

To verify your DNS server settings on Windows, go to your network settings and click on “Change adapter options.” Then, right-click on your network connection and select “Properties.” From there, click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click “Properties” again. Make sure the “Obtain DNS server address automatically” option is selected.

If you need to set custom DNS server addresses, you can do so by selecting the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option and entering the appropriate IP addresses. On Mac, you can check your DNS settings by going to “System Preferences” and clicking on “Network.” Then, select your network connection and click on “Advanced.” From there, click on the “DNS” tab to view your DNS server settings.

Check Your Router DNS Settings

One of the most common causes of DNS server issues is incorrect router settings. To verify your router settings, log in to your router’s admin panel and look for the DNS settings. Here are some tips:

  1. Check the DNS Server Addresses: Make sure the DNS server addresses entered in the router settings are correct. If you are not sure about the correct DNS server addresses, you can contact your internet service provider (ISP) for assistance.
  2. Restart Your Router: After making any changes to the router DNS settings, it’s a good idea to restart your router to ensure that the changes take effect.
  3. Reset Your Router: If you are still experiencing DNS server issues, you may need to reset your router to its default settings. This will erase any custom settings and return the router to its original configuration.
  4. Check for Firmware Updates: Make sure your router is running the latest firmware version. Check the manufacturer’s website for any firmware updates and install them if available.
  5. Disable IPv6: If you are experiencing DNS server issues, you can try disabling IPv6 in your router settings. Some older routers may not support IPv6 properly, which can cause DNS server issues.

If you have tried all of the above steps and are still experiencing DNS server issues, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP) for further assistance.

Check Your Computer’s DNS Settings

If your network connection is working properly, but you’re still having issues with your DNS server, the problem may be related to your computer’s DNS settings. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot:

  • Check Your Network Settings: Ensure that your computer is configured to automatically obtain DNS server addresses, and that the settings are correct. If you’re not sure how to check these settings, consult your operating system’s documentation or support resources.
  • Flush Your DNS Cache: Your computer may be using outdated DNS information stored in its cache. You can clear the cache by running the appropriate command for your operating system. This will force your computer to obtain fresh DNS information from your DNS server.
  • Manually Set DNS Server Addresses: If all else fails, you can manually set your computer’s DNS server addresses to a public DNS service such as Google DNS or OpenDNS. However, keep in mind that this may not be the optimal solution for your network environment.

By following these steps, you can identify and resolve any DNS server issues related to your computer’s DNS settings.

Flush Your DNS Cache

Flushing your DNS cache is another troubleshooting step that can help resolve DNS server issues. Your DNS cache stores IP addresses and domain names of recently visited websites. If your DNS cache becomes corrupted, it can cause DNS errors. Here are the steps to flush your DNS cache:

Step 1: Open Command Prompt or Terminal

Step 2: Type “ipconfig /flushdns” (Windows) or “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” (Mac) and press Enter

Step 3: Wait a few seconds for the command to complete, then restart your computer or device

Flushing your DNS cache can also improve your internet speed and performance. By clearing out old or outdated DNS records, your device will have to look up the current IP address of a website, which can lead to faster load times.However, note that clearing your DNS cache will also remove any custom DNS settings you may have set up, so you will need to reconfigure them after flushing your cache.

Step 3: Try Alternative DNS Servers

If you’ve exhausted all options and your DNS server is still not working, it’s time to consider trying alternative DNS servers.

There are several free, public DNS servers available, such as Google DNS, OpenDNS, and Cloudflare DNS.

By switching to an alternative DNS server, you can potentially fix issues related to slow browsing, website timeouts, and other DNS-related problems.

Before switching to a new DNS server, make sure to record the IP address of your current DNS server so that you can easily switch back if necessary.

Use Google DNS

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps so far and your DNS server still isn’t working, you can try using a different DNS server. One popular option is to use Google DNS.

Step 1: Click on the Start menu and select Control Panel.

Step 2: Click on Network and Sharing Center and then click on Change Adapter Settings.

Step 3: Right-click on your active network connection and select Properties.

Step 4: Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on Properties.

Step 5: Select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the following: for “Preferred DNS server” and for “Alternate DNS server.”

Using Google DNS can help resolve DNS server issues and improve your internet speed and stability. If this doesn’t work, you may need to contact your ISP or a professional IT support service.

Common DNS Server Errors to Avoid

Misconfigured DNS Records: Incorrect DNS records can lead to failed domain name resolution or even direct users to the wrong destination. It’s important to ensure that DNS records are accurate and up-to-date.

Expired DNS Records: DNS records have an expiration time that must be renewed periodically. If they’re not renewed, it can cause problems for users trying to access the domain. Keep track of expiration dates and renew them before they expire.

DDoS Attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can overwhelm DNS servers with traffic, making them unable to respond to legitimate requests. Mitigate DDoS attacks with proper security measures and choose a DNS provider that offers DDoS protection.

Incorrect DNS Server Addresses

Using incorrect DNS server addresses is a common mistake that can prevent your computer from connecting to the internet. Ensure that the DNS server addresses entered are correct and match the ones provided by your ISP.

Transposing digits or entering invalid addresses can also cause DNS errors. It is recommended to copy and paste the addresses instead of manually typing them. Check for typos or errors in the addresses to ensure they are entered correctly.

Using outdated DNS server addresses can also lead to errors. Ensure that the DNS server addresses are up-to-date and reflect any changes made by your ISP.

How to Prevent DNS Server Issues in the Future

Keep Your DNS Server Up to Date: It is important to keep your DNS server updated to ensure that it is functioning properly. Check for updates regularly and apply them as necessary to prevent any potential issues.

Use Reliable DNS Servers: Choose a reputable and reliable DNS server to ensure that your connection remains stable. Look for servers that are known for their uptime and have a good reputation for reliability.

Monitor Your Network: Regularly monitor your network to detect any potential issues before they become major problems. This can include monitoring for DNS queries that are taking longer than usual or other indicators that something is not functioning properly.

Use Reliable DNS Servers

One of the most effective ways to prevent DNS server issues is to use reliable DNS servers. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide their own DNS servers, but they may not always be the most reliable or efficient. Consider using a public DNS server, such as Google DNS or OpenDNS, which are known for their reliability and fast response times.

It’s also important to keep your DNS software up to date. DNS vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to gain access to your system or steal sensitive data. Updating your DNS software will help ensure that you have the latest security patches and bug fixes.

In addition, it’s a good idea to periodically test your DNS servers to make sure they are functioning properly. There are many online tools available that can help you test your DNS servers and identify any issues.

Keep Your DNS Server Software Up-to-Date

Regularly updating your DNS server software is important for security and performance reasons. Security vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers, and new updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements.

Most DNS server software allows for automatic updates, but it’s still important to check for updates periodically. Make sure you check the software vendor’s website or support forums for the latest updates.

In addition to updating your DNS server software, make sure you also keep your operating system and other network components up-to-date. This helps ensure compatibility and security across your entire network.


If you want to enhance your DNS server security, you should consider enabling DNSSEC. DNSSEC, short for DNS Security Extensions, adds an additional layer of security to the DNS infrastructure by digitally signing DNS records. This process verifies the authenticity of the data exchanged between the user and the DNS resolver, preventing malicious attacks like DNS cache poisoning and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Enabling DNSSEC is a straightforward process. Most modern DNS software and services support DNSSEC by default. If you manage your own DNS server, you can enable DNSSEC by generating a set of cryptographic keys and configuring your DNS server to sign DNS records using these keys. Once enabled, DNSSEC can help protect against several types of DNS attacks.

It’s worth noting that while enabling DNSSEC can improve your DNS server security, it’s not a foolproof solution. Attackers can still exploit vulnerabilities in your DNS software or use social engineering tactics to compromise your DNS server. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your DNS server software up-to-date and follow best practices to secure your DNS server.

Expert Tips for Optimizing Your DNS Server Performance

Use Caching – DNS caching can significantly improve performance by reducing the number of requests to the authoritative DNS servers. It’s important to configure caching correctly, based on the TTL (Time To Live) values specified in the DNS records.

Implement Load Balancing – Load balancing can distribute the DNS requests across multiple servers to improve performance and provide redundancy. It’s essential to monitor and balance the load to avoid overloading any single server.

Utilize Anycast – Anycast can route the DNS requests to the nearest available DNS server based on the network topology. This can significantly reduce latency and improve response times for users.

Configure Forwarders for Better DNS Query Performance

Forwarders are DNS servers that are used to forward queries to other DNS servers if the local DNS server is unable to resolve them. Configuring forwarders can improve DNS query performance by reducing the time it takes for the local DNS server to resolve queries.

When configuring forwarders, it is important to choose reliable DNS servers that have a good track record of availability and performance. In addition, it is recommended to use forwarders that are geographically close to your network, as this can reduce latency and improve query response times.

Another important consideration when configuring forwarders is security. Ensure that the forwarders you choose are trusted sources and have appropriate security measures in place to prevent malicious activity.

Finally, it is important to regularly monitor and test the performance of your DNS server and its forwarders to ensure that they are functioning optimally. This can involve monitoring query response times, tracking server availability, and testing for any vulnerabilities or security issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common reasons for DNS server not working?

There could be various reasons why your DNS server is not working, such as incorrect DNS server settings, network connectivity issues, or outdated software. It is crucial to identify the root cause of the problem before taking any steps to resolve it.

How can I troubleshoot DNS server issues?

You can troubleshoot DNS server issues by performing several diagnostic tests such as ping tests, DNS server lookups, and network trace routes. These tests can help you identify the source of the problem and take appropriate steps to resolve it.

How can I configure my DNS server for optimal performance?

You can optimize your DNS server’s performance by configuring it to use forwarders, enabling caching, and setting up a secondary DNS server. These steps can help improve the speed and reliability of your DNS server.

What are the best practices for maintaining a DNS server?

Best practices for maintaining a DNS server include keeping your software up-to-date, regularly monitoring your server’s performance and logs, and configuring your firewall to only allow necessary traffic. It is also essential to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected failures.

When should I consider using a managed DNS service?

You may want to consider using a managed DNS service if you have limited technical expertise or if you need to ensure high availability and scalability for your website. Managed DNS services offer advanced features and support that can help improve your website’s performance and reliability.

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