What is the DNS NS record?

The domain name system (DNS) executes different key processes for the Internet to work properly. Those tasks could not be resolve without DNS records. There are different DNS records, and each has different functions. Let’s talk about DNS NS record.

What is a name server?

It is a server that has all the DNS records related to a domain. Domains usually use multiple name servers (backups) to guarantee availability. In case a server is down or unavailable due to different reasons, other servers can attend to requests. 

A common scenario is you have an authoritative server and more secondary ones that hold a copy of DNS records from your domain. In case you need to modify something, you will do it directly in the authoritative server, and from it, modifications will propagate to the rest.

What is the DNS NS record?

NS are the initials of a name server. The DNS name server (NS) record is the one that recognizes authoritative name servers of your DNS zone. 

DNS NS record points to the authoritative DNS server for a domain, the one that holds its DNS records (A, CNAME, MX, PTR…). Therefore, these record supports the availability of requested domain names. NS records are saved in DNS zone files. 

Each DNS server from a DNS zone needs to have a dedicated NS record. It plays kind of a backup role. If the authoritative DNS server is down, the resolution request can be sent to a secondary server to be attended to.Let’s keep in mind that DNS NS record scope in the resolution process is limited. It doesn’t work directly with IP addresses. It just identifies the authoritative servers holding DNS information of the domain in a specific zone. That’s it.

One domain can have several NS records. That means there are more than one authoritative server for the domain. 

Accurate configuration of NS records is key for DNS to work and for users to get their requested domain really served.

This is how an NS record looks like:

Host: domain.com

Record type: NS

Points to: ns1.blogdomain.com

TTL value: 3600 secs. 

Do I need NS records?

Yes, you definitely need them. It is a must for every DNS zone to have NS records to find the corresponding authoritative name server and process requests efficiently.

Different situations can require administrators to add or edit NS records. One common situation is when people change to a new hosting provider. As part of this process, it will be needed to point the NS records to your new provider’s name servers. It’s not hard to do, especially for IT people or experienced users, but consider the propagation-time factor. It can take around 24 hours to complete the update fully.

How to do NS lookup?

You can check the DNS records of any given domain name with the NSlookup command.

If you are a macOS or Linux user, just open the Terminal and use the following command:

nslookup -type=ns blogdomain.com 

Then hit enter. After few seconds, you will see the names of the name servers for the domain you checked in the result area.

If you are a Windows fan, you can still use the nslookup command you just will need to access it through the Command Prompt and use the same: 

nslookup -type=ns blogdomain.com 


NS record is a must DNS record due to the importance of its functionality. NS records are needed for the different DNS zones (primary and secondary) to work correctly for a domain name. For that reason, the NS record is one of the most popular DNS records you can find.

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