What is DNS?
The Domain Naming Service (DNS) matches your website’s domain name (netim.com, for example) with the IP address where the website is hosted on the web (22.214.171.124, for example). Without this service, the use of domain names would not be possible and the use of the Internet will be very different.
Your website needs at least 1 nameserver to resolve on the Internet. However, it is recommended, and in some cases mandatory, to have two or more nameservers to achieve redundancy. Nameservers redundancy is a failsafe. In the case of a server becoming unavailable, having secondary servers ensures your website stays online no matter what. This type of server makes it possible to store the DNS configuration of the latter and to declare the corresponding IP addresses of the various services such as the Internet site, email, etc.
DNS Anycast: how it works and what are its advantages
Anycast nameservers have three strong points: quick response time, high availability and improved Search Engine Optimization (or Search Engine Optimization).
Anycast nameservers directs user queries to the nearest server. Reducing the physical distance between user and server as much as possible results in a very low latency.
One might think it’s not that important, but it is! A good response time for the DNS service is one of the most important elements to speed up your website loading.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A site that takes a long time to load will scare away visitors and considerably increase your bounce rate. Search engines (Google, mainly) have set an average score for what they consider to be an
“acceptable” website loading time. By reducing your response time, you improve your search
engine score which in turn improves your page ranking.
Unicast nameservers store DNS records in one place alone. So if the server is down or under
attack, your website could simply no longer be accessible if no DNS server was available.
With DNS Anycast on the other hand, there is no risk of that happening. If one of the servers is down, the next server closest to the Internet user in the network will take over. The more servers (nodes) a domain name has within the Anycast networks, the more its availability is guaranteed.
Our DNS Anycast service distribution
Take a look at our 2 Anycast networks, represented by two different colours, and their DNS server locations.
Unicast vs Anycast
With a DNS service using a Unicast DNS server, the DNS information is stored in one place: the place where the DNS server is located. .
That means all devices trying to access your website will query the same server, wherever users might be located.
Let’s say your server is located in the United States, whereas the user trying to check out your website is in France. Due to the distance latency is quite high, which causes a poor user experience.
Regarding availability, if the server is not accessible, your website itself will not be accessible. This is why a domain name should use at least 2 Unicast DNS servers to ensure minimum redundancy.
Anycast nameservers network
With a DNS service using an Anycast network, the DNS information is copied to each of the servers in the global network (from a few servers to several dozen).
As a result, your devices only need to interact with the nearest server,to improve response time.
Going back to our example: with Anycast, the user is able to access your website through a nameserver near him. In this case response time is short, making for a more pleasant user experience. In addition, the service will be redundant thanks to the high availability of information on the network.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don’t need to! The option is enabled by default on our free nameservers.