Distinction: Domain Registrar vs. DNS Hosting

Understanding the Distinction:

Your DNS host is the service that is authoritative for hosting your DNS records. A domain registrar is where you purchase domain names. There are DNS hosting providers that offer domain registration and vice versa, but the two services should not be confused.

Unveiling the Basics of Domain Registration and DNS Hosting

Let’s start with the bare bones: a domain registrar offers services that allow you to pick a domain name and register it to an IP address. This is the first step you take when you want to build a website. Your domain name, like, is essentially the face of your IP address, 123.45.678.90.

DNS is the framework of the internet that connects a user who types in a domain name to their desired site. Computers can’t communicate using domain names, so instead, they find each other through the use of IP addresses.

Understanding Domain Registrars:

Key Role and FunctionsMeta Description: Discover the significance of domain registrars in managing domain names. Gain insights into the role of IANA and ICANN in registry operations. Explore DigiCert DNS Trust Manager for comprehensive DNS management.

Now, when you register a domain name, you have to go through a DNS registrar. These companies often deal directly with the registry operators who control the master list of all domain names. These registries are managed by IANA (International Assigned Numbers Authority), which is a department of ICANN, a nonprofit organization that runs the root zone management in the Domain Name System.

Fun DNS Fact:

The Role of "Whois" in Domain Name RegistryMeta Description: Discover the intriguing function of "whois" in domain name registry. Learn how it relates to querying the domain name registry. Explore DigiCert DNS Trust Manager for efficient DNS management.

Whenever you run a "whois" command or use an online interface to access whois data, you're actually querying the domain name registry.

Most times, you won't actually deal with a DNS registrar directly. Most people purchase their domain name through a Web Hosting Provider – we'll talk more about them in a minute. These companies do all the work for you and register your domain through the registries on your behalf.

Understanding DNS Hosting:

Connecting Users to WebsitesMeta Description: Gain clarity on the role of DNS hosting in facilitating user access to websites. Differentiate between DNS hosting providers and domain registrars. Discover DigiCert DNS Trust Manager for seamless DNS management.

Once you've purchased your domain name, you have to tell it which domain name servers will be authoritative for that domain. A DNS hosting provider hosts these servers, which authoritatively respond for your domain. Sometimes domain registrars also offer DNS hosting, however, the two services should never be confused.

Differentiating DNS Hosting Services:

Exploring Various ProvidersMeta Description: Understand the distinctions between DNS hosting services. Learn about domain name registrars, web hosting providers, and dedicated DNS hosting companies. Optimize your DNS infrastructure with DigiCert DNS Trust Manager.

Before we go deeper into what a DNS host does, we need to clear up the different kinds of companies that offer DNS hosting.

  1. Domain name registrars that offer DNS hosting as an additional service
  2. Web hosting providers
  3. Dedicated DNS hosting companies (that's all they do)

Too often, people resort to using their web host's DNS services because they're offered as an add-on or included with the web hosting services. This tends to confuse most people because they end up thinking the two are one and the same.

In a nutshell, web hosting is essentially the space where your website files are stored, while DNS hosting is what connects users to the site and keeps the domain online.

Ensuring Web Accessibility:

The Crucial Role of DNSMeta Description: Recognize the significance of DNS in maintaining web accessibility. Learn how selecting the right DNS host impacts site uptime and maintenance costs. Experience efficient DNS management with DigiCert DNS Trust Manager.

When you're deciding how you want to host your DNS, you need to be sure you understand the differences between the different kinds of hosts. Your decision could either keep your site online 100% of the time at a low cost or knock you offline and cost you thousands in maintenance and cleanup. DNS is the end-all-be-all of your site's web presence. Without it, no one would be able to access your content.

Dedicated DNS hosting providers tend to have faster and more reliable infrastructure, designed from the ground-up for hosting DNS query traffic and nothing else.

Optimize Your DNS Management with DigiCert DNS Trust Manager

Discover the power of DigiCert DNS Trust Manager for efficient DNS management. Ensure seamless website accessibility and enhanced security. Take control of your DNS infrastructure today.

Jessica Belvedere
Jessica is the Marketing Director for Constellix and DNS Made Easy. She likes quirky one-liners, SEO, and connecting with people.

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