How to Setup a DNS Server

by John Wu

Computers and Internet networking equipment communicate with each other via numerical IP addresses, rather than domain names. In order to prevent Internet users from having to memorize numerical IP addresses, DNS (domain name service) was created to translate domain names to IP addresses. By connecting a DNS server to a local network, the computers on the local network will be able to complete DNS queries much quicker.

Step 1

Install the DNS server software. If the local network is running Windows, install Microsoft DNS software for the best integration.

Step 2

Input a list of DNS servers, "forwarders" that can be used to retrieve DNS information, into the software. Two or three forwarders are sufficient.

Step 3

Set up security policies to restrict or allow access to the DNS server. Bandwidth will be used up quickly if numerous Internet users have access to the DNS server.

Step 4

If the DNS server will be serving a domain, set up the DNS for that domain. Input the "A" (address) records, "MX" (mail exchange) records and any other required DNS records.

If the DNS server will be serving a domain, have that domain's registrar delegate to the DNS server. This can often be done on the domain registrar's website.


  • Make sure the DNS server is working with the zone information before requesting delegation from the domain registrar. An outage may occur if the zone information is incorrect or incomplete.

Photo Credits

  • brcwcs

About the Author

John Wu is a writer who has covered computers, health, fitness and business since 2008 for various online publications. He is also an IT manager at a government agency. Wu holds a B.A. in legal studies from University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in computer science from San Jose State University.

More Articles