Many people think of DNS web hosting in the same manner as standard web host services and domain name registration. However, there are considerable differences between the three, and if any link in the hosting chain requires unbreakable strength, then the DNS host is it.
Domain Name Server (DNS) web hosts are the servers which honor the requests of visitors to a website, and thus route traffic to the correct location. We, humans, are accustomed to entering a website name into a Web browser and waiting to be taken to the site.
So long as you're using a modern browser and have an adequate internet connection, the process is relatively straightforward and painless. This is the human perspective of how browsing the Net operates.
For computers (servers), however, the exercise is a bit more involved. Stated differently, virtually every computing action is translated into numerical commands – or alpha-numerical ones, at the least.
So when someone types in your WWW name, the DNS web hosting servers interpret this as a numerical internet protocol (IP) address, and then sends them to the correct web server on which your website resides. Simple enough.
And in a Utopian world, any moderately competent web host could handle these requests no sweat. But unfortunately, as we all know, we do not live in a Utopian Society.
DNS hosts providers can, and frequently do, get attacked by malicious actors who steal, hold ransom, and redirect websites' traffic for any number of reasons.
Consequently, if the host you select does not hold itself to the utmost standards of security — both proactively and defensively — then being harmed by crippling cyber threats is a real possibility in your future.
Not only can your company be damaged severely in terms of reputation, etc., but the would-be visitors of your site may face irreparable harm in one form or another. A maliciously-routed visitor may fall victim to ransomware, thus precluding them from accessing an essential file-storage drive.
They may have spyware unwittingly installed on their machine, allowing a hostile actor to view/record sensitive information like Social Security Numbers, passwords, and/or financial information. What's more is that there is an inestimable number of malware being developed that can cause tremendous detriment to affected users.
These real-life scenarios reflect the seriousness with which you must approach this topic, as the critical role the DNS host plays cannot be overstated! The encouraging part of all this is that are some reasonably-priced, professionally-run services from which to choose.
We've already touched on the most daunting concerns regarding security vulnerabilities, and the business-losing effect of a poor DNS web hosting server is equally unacceptable.
DNS web hosts are akin to large routers which direct internet traffic to websites, in a language sites' web servers can understand: Numbers. So it's easy to appreciate how reliable and responsive these servers must be to 'traffic calls.'
Furthermore, an otherwise secure DNS host which suffers from dismally slow (unreliable) traffic signaling can lead to extreme amounts of lost business.
Take for example an affordable DNS web host which has a sterling record of traffic-stealing prevention, but has only a 75- to 80-percent uptime record. It's unlikely that you'd lose all 20-25% of traffic during this downtime, but even if were 10%, the lost traffic can be staggering. There's no rhyme nor reason to server crashes, as these issues are notoriously unpredictable.
In fact, server maintenance is such a big part of web hosting operations that UPS has an entire, 24/7/365 on-demand unit which inventories and delivers data center essentials at any time – day or night.
Now consider a hypothetical situation in which a server failure occurs during your peak selling season. Perhaps it's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or tax-return time. It just so happens that 2 of your host's DNS servers have suffered hard drive failures, one of which houses your website's IP protocols.
You get an emergency text alert from your host detailing the "minor" issue, along with a declaration of how "common" hard drive failures are in data centers.
You may relax by saying, "glad it's not something big; hard drives are a cinch to replace." These statements are both true, as failures are indeed common & hard drives are in fact easy to replace — when the *right* drive has been located to make the switch.
Data center management and logistics are far from exact sciences, again, per the erratic nature of electronic failures in general. They don't make a certain type of noise or have a pre-determined service life when sold.
There are just too many variables involved, e.g., operating environment, demand load, age of hardware, maintenance and monitoring schedules, and more. Now let's continue our hypothetical data center conundrum from above...
At the worst possible time, the hard drive on which your site's IP info is stored burns out and a replacement is unavailable within your service area; thus, one must be ordered from the closest warehouse with the requisite part. That's the good news.
The bad news is that it has to be flown in from 800 miles away and won't arrive for another 12 hours. It was 1 AM when you received the notification and the airport cargo facility in the source city doesn't open 'til 5 AM.
During normal cycles, this wouldn't be a huge deal since sales are more or less steady throughout the day. But during peak season (think Black Friday), orders literally start at Midnight and pile up drastically by noon the same day.
By that time, you may have lost thousands of motivated customers per a "web address unavailable" message. Incidentally, your DNS web hosting provider just cost a substantial amount of revenue.
The single best way to guard against such domain server bungles is to choose one with exemplary uptime and security abilities. The best DNS web hosting services overcome interruptions far more effectively than lesser ones in result of their superior experience, supply chain networking, and onsite storage of the critical data center components.
The on-hand stock, in many cases, can be upwards of 3x every hard drive needed to keep subscribers' websites responding favorably.
That's equivalent to around a month's worth of repair drives, while regularly-scheduled parts continue to arrive daily. So this illustrates how thoroughly prepared the top internet host providers are, as their aim is to keep each site running at all times – no exceptions or excuses!
One such company with an outstanding reputation for first-class DNS web hosting is GoDaddy, LLC. GoDaddy is the world's largest ICANN-domain registrar and has been a leader in this market for decades.
But what's not as widely known – likely due to the specialized nature of this service – is that GoDaddy is also one the most trusted DNS server hosts as well. It offers affordable DNS web hosting plans, with proprietary backup and security features for each one.
For less than the cost of a domain name, you could use GoDaddy as your high-powered DNS host. GoDaddy boasts a 99.99-percent server uptime average, with super-fast website response times. And unlike the general web hosting market, the choices in the DNS business are far fewer.
The advanced technology and server administration is simply not something that can be replicated easily.
Perhaps the closest rival to GoDaddy in the dedicated DNS host department is VeriSign, which offers its services on a negotiated basis. The consensus, however, is that while VeriSign is indeed a competent domain name host, its fees can be much higher than GoDaddy's.
So knowing what you do now about the importance of having a top domain name server, you'd do well to give GoDaddy the nod as your DNS web hosting provider. (Transferring from a current host server is not a problem, so don't let that stop you from making the switch.)
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