What are DNS Resolvers and How Do They Work?

This short post is about how a DNS resolver works. I also quickly cover the best way to obtain a DNS resolving service.

Please note that I am not going into the specifics on how to setup a DNS resolver. There are plenty of online tutorials for you to follow if you wish to pursue that option.

What is a DNS resolver? Simply put, a DNS resolver contacts a domain name’s DNS server and asks it for information.

A DNS resolver will also do something called caching. When a DNS resolver caches, it is “remembering” the information it previously obtained from a DNS server.

A DNS resolver that caches can save a lot of time that would be wasted looking up a domain name that had just been looked up earlier.

DNS caching is like writing down information on a sticky note, so you can quickly look at it later, instead of having to ask the person for the info all over again.

Here is a simplified example of how a DNS resolver works:

1.   Alex types into his web browser example.com

2.   Alex’s web browser then contacts the DNS resolver (that his computer is set to use).

3.   The DNS resolver then goes to ns1.example.com (the DNS server) and asks the server for the IP address of example.com

4.   The DNS resolver then relays the information it receives to Alex’s computer. In addition, the DNS resolver caches the retrieved information for later use.

5.   Alex’s web browser now knows where example.com is located (the IP address), and starts retrieving the website.

There are typically three different ways people get a DNS resolving service.

ISP:  People can make use of their ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) DNS resolver.  I suspect most home users probably use this option.

Free Third Party:  People can use a free third-party DNS resolver (e.g. Google [,] or CloudFlare DNS [,] resolver services).  This can be a good alternative for people who have slow, unreliable ISP resolvers.

Self-Hosted: People can also choose to host their own DNS resolver at their home/office (e.g. Unbound DNS server on a Linux or FreeBSD box, and yes, Windows boxes too 🙂 ).

Now which way is the best? Well that is ultimately up to you, but here are my opinions on the matter.

Using your ISP’s DNS resolver is probably the “best choice” for most home internet users, since they are probably already using it anyway and their ISP can give direct support if their customers ever experience issues resolving domain names.

Using a third party DNS resolver can potentially help resolve domain names faster than your local ISP’s servers (e.g. CloudFlare’s DNS resolver is considered fast when compared to other ISP’s and third party services).

However, something to keep in mind is that if you have any issues with a third-party DNS resolver, your ISP has no obligation to help you troubleshoot your issues you may encounter.

Finally about self-hosted DNS resolvers. These are the trickiest of the three to use for the average home Internet user, since they have to maintain a server. However a properly setup self-hosted DNS resolver, in my opinion, is the most secured setup.

You have the control over the server that looks up domain names for you, not someone else who may have malicious intentions. This is my pick of the three choices.

I have run DNS resolver servers for years. From my own benchmarking I have done, I discovered that my own DNS resolving servers were overall faster than almost all third-party DNS resolvers were!

In addition as a major plus, since my resolvers are on the local network, my time to retrieve a cached entry in the DNS resolver is near instant (neat!).

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems

What does the Bible say about Pride?

Proverbs 16:18   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

James 4:6   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 16:5   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

Proverbs 8:13   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.

Obadiah 3   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’

Isaiah 2:11   New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The proud look of man will be abased
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Posted in Christian

What does the Bible say about Using Profanity?

Colossians 3:8    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

Ephesians 4:29    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Matthew 12:36-37    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

James 3:10    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

Ephesians 5:4    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

James 3:6-8    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

James 1:26    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.

Proverbs 21:23    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

Luke 6:45    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Proverbs 4:24    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.

Psalm 34:13-14    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

Posted in Christian

What is the Difference between Facts and Opinions?

This is a short blog about the differences between facts and opinions.

I am writing this because I have noticed, over the last several years, people tend to confuse facts with opinions and opinions with facts.

What is a Fact?  A fact is something that is either true or false.

  • For example, the color of the sky (on a clear day) is blue. That statement is a fact.
  • For example, the outside temperature is 90 degrees. That statement is a fact.
  • For example, my dog is a husky. That statement is a fact.

While someone can challenge an established “fact”, this person would have to show proof that the “fact” is not correct.  Sorry, but just saying, “You’re wrong!” or mocking what the person said does not cut it!

So what are opinions then?  An opinion is either something that someone believes to be true (has not yet been proven to be a fact), cannot be proven at all for some reason, or something that could have more than one answer.

  • The color tan looks good on that wall. That statement is an opinion. Why?  Because something that looks good to one person may not to another.
  • That little dog is cute! That statement is an opinion, because while this person thinks the dog is cute, someone else may not think so.
  • Large smart phones are better than smaller ones. This too is an opinion. Some people may prefer smaller smart phones to larger ones.

Here is a real life example.  A friend of mine (we will call her Grace), posted a YouTube video showing some inaccuracies in another YouTube video she found.

Someone eventually posted a “rebuttal” comment showing why none of her corrections was “correct”.  The funny thing is…this person did not use logical arguments in most of his comment.

He was triggered, and wanted to trash Grace’s video using emotional (mostly non-factual, opinionated, weak) arguments.

Interestingly when Grace responded back to all of his arguments, he never did reply.  He just dropped himself from the debate that he had started.  I suspect he could not reply, because he was mostly arguing from his emotions and not from established facts.

Another thing that I found interesting, the owner of the video Grace responded to found out about her rebuttal video, and claimed that he watched about a “minute” of her video and found it “boring”.

The entire video was almost 8 minutes long.  How does he know the whole video is “boring” when he didn’t even give it an honest review (per his own admission)?  He too, was triggered (based upon his online responses) and could not even give a mature response to her video.  Yikes!

Now to be clear, I have no problem with people giving their honest opinions.  What I do have a problem with is people who try to pass their opinions off as facts, when they cannot provide proof.

Worse these people will usually (in my experience) insult you for your opinion, just based upon the fact that you said something that they did not agree with.  That is uncalled for and definitely disrespectful.

Posted in General