If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve encountered the frustrating “DNS server not responding” error while browsing the internet. This error message can appear on any device and can be caused by various factors. Understanding the cause of this error and how to fix it is crucial for uninterrupted internet access.
DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is an essential component of the internet. It translates human-friendly domain names like Google.com into IP addresses that computers can understand. When a DNS server is not responding, it means your device can’t communicate with the DNS server to translate the domain name into an IP address.
In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of the “DNS server not responding” error and how to troubleshoot and fix it. By the end of this post, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the issue and the tools to fix it.
So, let’s dive in and learn how to solve this frustrating issue once and for all!
What is a DNS server and how does it work?
A DNS server is a critical part of the internet’s infrastructure that translates human-readable domain names, such as www.example.com, into the IP addresses required by computers to communicate with each other. Without the DNS system, accessing websites and other online resources would be an impossible task. The DNS system is like a phonebook for the internet, and it is responsible for resolving domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.
When you type a domain name into your web browser’s address bar, the browser sends a request to a DNS server to translate the domain name into an IP address. The DNS server responds with the correct IP address, and your browser connects to the website’s server using that IP address. This process happens in the background, and users rarely have to think about it.
The DNS system uses a hierarchical structure to manage and distribute domain name information across the internet. This structure consists of root servers, top-level domain (TLD) servers, authoritative name servers, and caching resolvers. Each of these servers plays a vital role in ensuring that the DNS system functions smoothly and efficiently.
In addition to resolving domain names, DNS servers also play a critical role in security. DNS servers can be configured to block access to malicious websites, and they can be used to help prevent cyber attacks by identifying and blocking traffic from known malicious sources.
Overall, DNS servers are a fundamental part of the internet’s infrastructure, and they play a crucial role in ensuring that we can access websites and online resources quickly and efficiently. Understanding how DNS servers work is essential for anyone who uses the internet regularly.
Domain Name System (DNS)
Definition: The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system that associates domain names with IP addresses. It is used to translate user-friendly domain names, such as example.com, into IP addresses, such as 192.0.2.1, which computers can understand.
Components: DNS has three main components: the resolver, the name server, and the root server. The resolver is responsible for initiating the DNS lookup, while the name server stores the DNS records for a particular domain. The root server is responsible for the top-level domain (.com, .org, .net, etc.)
How it works: When a user types a domain name into their browser, the resolver initiates a DNS query to find the corresponding IP address. The query is passed to the name server responsible for that domain, and if the IP address is not found, the query is passed up to the root server until the IP address is found and returned to the resolver.
The DNS is an essential part of the internet infrastructure, allowing users to access websites by name rather than numerical IP addresses. Without DNS, the internet would be much harder to navigate, and users would need to remember numerical addresses for every website they wanted to visit.
DNS server types
A DNS server is a computer server that contains a database of public IP addresses and their associated domain names. There are three main types of DNS servers:
- Recursive DNS servers: These servers take requests from clients and then search for the IP address associated with the domain name.
- Authoritative DNS servers: These servers hold the original source of DNS information for a domain name and respond to queries with information related to that domain.
- Root DNS servers: These servers are responsible for the initial resolution of a DNS query and contain information about the authoritative DNS servers for top-level domains such as .com, .org, and .net.
Recursive and authoritative DNS servers can be further classified as primary or secondary servers. A primary server is the first point of contact for a DNS query, while a secondary server is used as a backup if the primary server fails.
Choosing the right DNS server type depends on the needs of your network. Large organizations may use a combination of recursive and authoritative DNS servers to handle a high volume of traffic and ensure reliable connectivity.
How DNS works
DNS or Domain Name System is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for devices, services, or any resource connected to the internet. It translates human-readable domain names, such as www.example.com, into IP addresses, which are the numerical addresses used to identify devices and services on the internet.
The process of translating a domain name into an IP address involves multiple steps. When a user types a domain name into their browser, the browser sends a request to the user’s DNS resolver, which is usually provided by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). The resolver checks its cache to see if it has a record of the IP address for the requested domain name. If it does not have a record, the resolver sends a request to one of the root servers.
The root servers respond to the request by providing the resolver with the IP address of the Top-Level Domain (TLD) server for the requested domain name. The resolver then sends a request to the TLD server, which responds with the IP address of the authoritative DNS server for the requested domain name. The resolver then sends a request to the authoritative DNS server, which responds with the IP address of the device or service associated with the requested domain name.
DNS caching is a critical component of the DNS system. When a resolver receives a response from an authoritative DNS server, it caches the response for a specific amount of time, known as the Time To Live (TTL). The TTL determines how long the resolver should keep the response in its cache before checking with the authoritative DNS server again. Caching helps to reduce the load on the DNS system and improve the performance of DNS lookups.
DNSSEC or Domain Name System Security Extensions is a security protocol that adds an extra layer of security to the DNS system. It helps to prevent attackers from intercepting and manipulating DNS requests and responses. DNSSEC uses digital signatures to ensure the authenticity and integrity of DNS records, providing users with more confidence in the information they receive from the DNS system.
Why am I seeing “DNS server not responding” error?
When your computer tries to connect to a website, it first needs to resolve the website’s domain name into an IP address using a DNS server. If your computer is unable to communicate with the DNS server, you may encounter the “DNS server not responding” error. This error can be caused by various factors, such as:
Network connectivity issues: If your network connection is unstable or there are issues with your router or modem, your computer may not be able to communicate with the DNS server properly.
DNS server issues: The DNS server you are using may be down or experiencing technical difficulties, preventing your computer from accessing it.
Firewall or antivirus software: Sometimes, firewall or antivirus software can block your computer’s access to the DNS server, resulting in the “DNS server not responding” error.
Misconfigured network settings: If your computer’s network settings are misconfigured, it may not be able to communicate with the DNS server properly.
If you encounter the “DNS server not responding” error, it can be frustrating and may prevent you from accessing the websites you need. However, by understanding the potential causes of this error, you can take steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Issues with DNS server
DNS server failure: One of the most common reasons for seeing the “DNS server not responding” error is a DNS server failure. This means that the DNS server is not working correctly, which can be caused by a variety of issues such as hardware failure, software issues, or misconfigured settings.
Connection issues: Another common cause of the “DNS server not responding” error is connection issues. This can be caused by a weak or unstable internet connection, problems with the network configuration, or issues with the network adapter on your computer.
Firewall blocking DNS: In some cases, a firewall or other security software may be blocking the DNS server, which can cause the “DNS server not responding” error. This is often the case when using a third-party firewall or antivirus software that is not properly configured.
Incorrect DNS settings: Finally, incorrect DNS settings can also cause the “DNS server not responding” error. This can occur if the DNS server settings on your computer are incorrect or if your ISP’s DNS servers are not working correctly.
Issues with network connection
If your computer is connected to a network, issues with the network can also result in the “DNS server not responding” error. Some common network-related issues that can cause this error include:
- Network outage: If there is an outage in your network or internet service provider (ISP), your computer will not be able to connect to the DNS server, resulting in the error.
- Interference from antivirus or firewall software: Some antivirus or firewall software can interfere with your network connection and prevent your computer from connecting to the DNS server.
- Incorrect network settings: If your network settings are incorrect or have been changed, it can also result in the “DNS server not responding” error.
- Issues with the router: If there are issues with your router or it is not functioning properly, it can also cause the “DNS server not responding” error.
- Problem with the Ethernet cable or wireless adapter: If you are using an Ethernet cable to connect to the network, a damaged or faulty cable can prevent your computer from connecting to the DNS server. Similarly, if you are using a wireless adapter, connectivity issues with the adapter can also cause the error.
It is important to rule out any network-related issues when troubleshooting the “DNS server not responding” error. If you suspect that the error is caused by a network issue, try connecting your computer to a different network or contacting your ISP for assistance.
Next, let’s take a look at some possible solutions to fix the “DNS server not responding” error.
How to troubleshoot “DNS server not responding” error?
If you are experiencing the “DNS server not responding” error, don’t worry. There are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem and get your internet connection up and running again.
The first step is to check your network connection and make sure everything is properly connected and configured. If you are using Wi-Fi, try connecting to a wired connection to see if the problem persists. If it does, you may need to reset your router or modem.
If your network connection is not the issue, you can try flushing your DNS cache, resetting your TCP/IP settings, or updating your network adapter driver. These steps can often resolve issues related to the DNS server.
If none of these steps work, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP) or network administrator for further assistance. They may be able to provide more advanced troubleshooting techniques or suggest alternative solutions to the problem.
Flush DNS cache
DNS cache is a temporary storage that keeps a record of the websites you have visited recently. Sometimes, the cache may become corrupt and cause problems with your DNS server. In such cases, flushing the DNS cache can help resolve the issue.
To flush the DNS cache, you can use the command prompt on your Windows computer. Type “ipconfig /flushdns” in the command prompt and hit enter. This will clear your DNS cache and force your computer to obtain a new DNS address from the server.
On a Mac, you can use the terminal to flush the DNS cache. Type “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” in the terminal and hit enter. This will flush the DNS cache on your Mac.
Change DNS server address
DNS server not responding error can sometimes occur due to problems with the default DNS server address provided by your ISP. Changing the DNS server address to a different one may help resolve the issue.
To change your DNS server address, you can use the following steps:
|1||Open Control Panel||Click on the Windows Start menu and search for “Control Panel”.|
|2||Open Network and Sharing Center||Click on “Network and Sharing Center” in the Control Panel.|
|3||Change adapter settings||Click on “Change adapter settings” on the left-hand side of the window.|
|4||Right-click on your connection||Right-click on your connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and select “Properties”.|
|5||Select Internet Protocol Version 4||Double-click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”.|
|6||Change DNS server address||Select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the preferred DNS server address.|
After making these changes, restart your computer and check if the “DNS server not responding” error is resolved.
Update network drivers
What are network drivers?
Network drivers are software programs that allow your computer to communicate with other devices on a network. They are essential for establishing a stable and reliable network connection.
Why update network drivers?
Outdated or corrupted network drivers can cause a variety of network issues, including the “DNS server not responding” error. Updating your network drivers can help ensure that your computer is using the latest and most stable drivers, which can improve network performance and stability.
How to update network drivers?
You can update your network drivers through the device manager or by downloading the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Device Manager is a built-in Windows tool that allows you to manage hardware devices, including network adapters. To update your network drivers through Device Manager, right-click on the network adapter, select “Update driver,” and follow the on-screen instructions. Alternatively, you can download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website and install them manually.
What are the possible solutions for “DNS server not responding” error?
If you are experiencing the “DNS server not responding” error, there are several steps you can take to resolve the issue. Here are some possible solutions:
Restart your router and modem: Sometimes, the problem is caused by a temporary glitch in your network equipment. Restarting your router and modem can help fix the issue.
Flush your DNS cache: Clearing your DNS cache can help fix any corrupted or outdated information that may be causing the error.
Change your DNS server address: Changing your DNS server address to a more reliable one can help improve your internet connection and fix the “DNS server not responding” error.
Update your network drivers: Outdated or corrupted network drivers can cause various network issues, including the “DNS server not responding” error. Updating your network drivers can help fix the issue.
Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP): If none of the above solutions work, there may be an issue with your ISP. Contact your ISP and inform them of the issue so they can investigate and fix the problem.
Reset TCP/IP stackResetting the TCP/IP stack can be a useful solution to resolve the “DNS server not responding” error. Here are some steps to follow:
Step 1: Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
Step 2: Type “netsh int ip reset” and press Enter.
Step 3: Type “netsh winsock reset” and press Enter.After following these steps, restart your computer and check if the “DNS server not responding” error is resolved. Keep in mind that resetting the TCP/IP stack can also reset other network-related configurations, so you may need to reconfigure them after completing this process.It’s important to note that resetting the TCP/IP stack should be done with caution, as it can potentially cause other network-related issues if not done correctly. Therefore, it’s recommended to create a system restore point or backup your system before proceeding with this solution.
Disable firewall temporarily
If you have a firewall installed on your computer, it can sometimes interfere with your network connection and cause the “DNS server not responding” error. To see if this is the case, you can temporarily disable your firewall and check if the error persists.
To disable the firewall on Windows, you can follow these steps:
- Click on the Start menu and type “Windows Security” in the search bar.
- Click on “Windows Security” to open the app.
- Click on “Firewall & network protection.”
- Click on your currently active network under “Your network connections.”
- Toggle the switch for “Microsoft Defender Firewall” to the “Off” position.
- Try to access the internet and check if the “DNS server not responding” error is resolved.
If disabling the firewall resolves the issue, you can try adding an exception for your internet browser or the DNS service in your firewall settings to allow it to function without being blocked.
Disable unused network connections
If you have multiple network connections on your computer, such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or VPN, try disabling the ones you’re not using. This can help prevent conflicts that may be causing the “DNS server not responding” error. To disable a network connection, right-click on it in the Network Connections window and select “Disable.”
You can also try unplugging any network cables or disconnecting from any Wi-Fi networks that you’re not actively using. This can help reduce network congestion and improve the performance of your remaining network connections.
If you’re still experiencing the “DNS server not responding” error, you can try re-enabling the network connections you disabled one at a time to see if any of them were causing the issue. This can help you isolate the source of the problem and determine which network connection is causing the error.
How to prevent “DNS server not responding” error in the future?
Use a reliable DNS server: The choice of DNS server can greatly impact your internet speed and stability. Choose a reliable DNS server that is known for its speed and stability.
Keep your network drivers up-to-date: Outdated or corrupted network drivers can cause various network issues, including DNS errors. Make sure to keep your network drivers up-to-date to prevent any such issues from occurring.
Install antivirus software: Malware and viruses can cause various network issues, including DNS errors. Installing antivirus software and keeping it up-to-date can help prevent such issues from occurring.
Avoid downloading suspicious files: Downloading suspicious files or visiting suspicious websites can lead to malware and viruses that can cause DNS errors. Be cautious when downloading files or browsing the internet.
Use reliable DNS server
DNS servers play a critical role in providing a smooth and uninterrupted internet experience. However, some DNS servers are not always reliable, leading to frequent DNS server not responding errors. To avoid this problem, you can use a reliable DNS server like Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, or Cloudflare DNS. These DNS servers are known for their speed, security, and reliability.
You can easily change your DNS server settings on your device or router to start using a reliable DNS server. However, it’s important to note that different DNS servers have different IP addresses, so you’ll need to know the IP address of the DNS server you want to use.
Once you’ve changed your DNS server settings, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your internet browsing experience. Websites will load faster, and you’ll experience fewer instances of the DNS server not responding error.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, allowing computers to access websites and other online resources.
What does it mean when the DNS server is not responding?
If the DNS server is not responding, it means that your computer is unable to reach the server, preventing you from accessing the Internet or specific websites.
What are the possible causes of DNS server not responding?
There are several possible causes of DNS server not responding, including network connection issues, misconfigured DNS settings, DNS server outages, and malicious software.
How can I troubleshoot DNS server not responding error?
You can troubleshoot DNS server not responding error by flushing the DNS cache, changing the DNS server address, updating network drivers, resetting TCP/IP stack, and disabling firewall temporarily.
How can I prevent DNS server not responding error in the future?
You can prevent DNS server not responding error in the future by using a reliable DNS server, keeping your computer and network drivers up to date, and avoiding suspicious websites and downloads.