How-To Geek

How DNS Works [Video]

Want an easy and visual way to explain DNS to a curious friend or cubemate? This clean and simple short video does a great job highlighting exactly what goes on during a typical DNS request.

Last month we explained what DNS is and showed you why you might want to use alternate DNS servers; this short video serves as an excellent visual companion for our article.

How DNS Works [YouTube]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/25/12

Comments (10)

  1. Erasm

    …dude in the vid has no mouth

  2. r

    ….& he has a rather scary/lifeless left eye.

  3. sam

    Awesome i completely understand it now! ^^ Thanks alot!!

  4. TheFu

    DNS = Phonebook.

  5. SoL

    More like a phone-book with quick updatability & distribution.

  6. Nick

    Does changing DNS Server impact page speeds?

  7. igimax

    Changing DNS do not effect page loading speed but it will effect page startup time! It means: your browser will response to your request (open a page) faster to bring it on! but when it start loading its speed will be depending to your network traffic speed!

    Also change DNS to the known and secure DNS servers make your web surfing more secure and less waiting between your request to see a page and response from DNS with their IP’s. But sometimes! a secure DNS sever do not mean that it will be fast DNS server for you network!!

    In fact you have to benchmark all or some DNS servers on your network by yourself! one of the best and simple and free tools to do it is DNS Benchmark. you can get it from here: also this site has some online test pages for check your network and DNS security and huge information about them!

    for example. These two companies have secure DNS servers:

    and fast (in most cases!) and well known DNS servers:
    Open DNS:
    Parental Control:

    I hope these help you!

  8. fermier

    My sad experience with “DNS”: At least once a day I get a message “your DNS setting have changed”… after which am unable to connect to the internet, completely locked out. Only way I get around that is by restoring an earlier saved image. I take many images each day, as I know will likely get that message soon.

  9. r

    @ fermier : it’s possible that your system is infected with a DNSChanger malware. Run a scan, there are “DNSChanger Removal Tools” to fix this problem.

  10. igimax


    beside what “r”! said, it will be better to have some Anti-Virus in your system. If you use old PC with not much memory installed on it! and you afraid to lose some performance! still you can install some of these programs with no realtime protections.

    For first part, Avira and Avast are good. Both have free editions and they are great in their jobs! I tested must of these applications so I can said these two can do the job for you…!

    For second part, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is good program to have! Its free version do not have realtime protection so your probably old PC will not suffer! and anytime you like you can run its scan manually!

    these are links for download of free editions of above programs:
    * Avira Free Antivirus:
    * Avast Free Anti-virus:
    * Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

    It’s not important which one you will choose base on your needs! but while or after instillation, if they ask for registration, choose free registration to activate your free license!

    Also, If you choose to install Avira, do not forget to:
    1) choose “custom” installation
    2) un-check any toolbar it offer you! (specially Ask or SearchFree or …)
    3) at configuration wizard: set level of “AHeAD heuristic” to High.
    4) at configuration wizard: Check “Select ALL” at “threat categories”
    and do not change anything else!

    Good Luck

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