Every single website on the internet has an IP address, which is how they are located by a computer but humans remember the domain names instead. A name server is a specialised server on the internet that handles queries or questions from your local computer, about the location of a domain name’s various services.

Nameservers are part of DNS, which stands for “Domain Name System.” The DNS is a database that works like a phone book for computers. Essentially a nameserver is any server that has a DNS software installed on it. Usually nameserver refers to a server owned by a web host that is specifically used to manage the domain names associated with their web hosting customers.

Setting domain name servers let your domain Registrar know where to send DNS requests for your domain to. In DNS settings to change your name server you need to edit the NS (Name Server) record.

In windows you can view your current name server by using the command prompt and typing nslookup then press enter and then enter set q=NS and enter. The line after set q=NS will ask for your domain name so you need to enter that, then you the name servers are shown with their corresponding IP addresses.

A custom name server allows you to run your own name server to respond to DNS requests for your domains. It is also a requirement for VPS and dedicated server customers who wish to have root access on their servers, since with root access you can modify the DNS zones on the server, and having access to our public name server zones would be a risk to security.

A vanity name server is a name server that is branded to a website of your choice, instead of public name servers. This can make your website seem more professional, by masking the fact you’re using the web hosting’s own name servers. With vanity name servers you are just hiding or masking the hostname of the web hosts public name server, but the IP addresses and the physical servers handling your website’s DNS requests would still be our public name servers.

A name server would look like this: ns1.example.co.uk or ns2.example.co.uk

When you update your name servers your domain name will start to point to the server that the name servers identify. However this is not an instant process. This process can take anywhere between 12 to 48 hours to complete and is called propagation, and may cause some anomalies with email delivery.

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