With the advancement of technology, it's hard to keep up with everything. Most people are aware of the latest devices and their primary purposes. But what is left behind are the terminologies. Understanding tech-related terminologies are essential because you may find yourself stuck in a position where knowing some tech-related languages may help you progress.
Here, we'll talk about one of the most critical terminologies for websites: DNS cache. Managing the DNS cache is essential because it can compromise network security and web page access.
While clearing your DNS cache is critical, it can be helpful in some cases. Your DNS cache contains the IP and the website's URL, which can be helpful if you want to retrieve some information related to the websites you visited.
Below we've discussed what is DNS cache, how you can check and clear it, and the benefits of flushing DNS cache.
DNS Cache–Definition and Purpose
What is DNS cache? It is temporary storage on electronic devices that includes the DNS history of previously visited domains. DNS caching happens when your device performs internet-related activities, such as browsing websites, watching YouTube videos, clicking on ads, etc.
DNS cache helps your browser or operating system to match your requested domain's name with its corresponding IP address. We know, at this point, you might be confused. But you'll understand it once you learn how the internet works.
When you search for a website by entering a domain name into the URL bar, that domain name is sent to the DNS server. You can think of the DNS server as a phonebook. It has all the domain names stored along with their corresponding IP address. When your request for a specific domain reaches the DNS server, it finds the corresponding IP address for the domain name and sends it back to the client (you). Then, that IP address is sent to Google's server (when searching through Google), asking it to send you the related website files.
DNS cache comes in when you request a website you've already visited. You want to visit YouTube, which you've previously visited. Since you've gone to YouTube previously, its domain name and IP address will be stored on your DNS cache. That way, your OS or browser can quickly check your DNS cache and retrieve the requested information making the process more efficient than when your request would move from the DNS server to you and Google's server.
Benefits of Clearing DNS Cache
Image taken from KeyCDN
If you think, why flush DNS cache, especially when it makes your browser take you to frequently visited websites quickly? Well, there are more convincing reasons to clear your DNS cache than not to. We've listed some of them below.
1. Undisturbed Privacy
Anybody who can open your computer can access your DNS cache in only a few simple steps, telling them what websites you recently and frequently visited. You must clear your DNS cache and your browser's history to hide that information. That way, your privacy will remain undisturbed.
2. Prevents "Error 404" Messages and Visiting Outdated Sites
You must have tried to access a website on the internet and got the "Error 404 page not found" message. This happens because of two things. One: you've clicked a broken link, and two: your DNS cache is yet to be updated.
Sometimes, websites change their domain name or host. If you've outdated DNS information stored on the website that changed its host or domain name, you will see an error when you search for that site. The outdated DNS information can also take you to an older website version.
Does the DNS cache update? Yes, but it doesn't happen immediately. You don't have to wait to access that website when you can clear your DNS cache.
3. Protects You from DNS Poisoning
DNS poisoning is a malicious activity where corrupt parties enter or access your DNS cache and change its data to lead you to a concept website. There are many reasons someone would do it, but to gain your sensitive information remains on top.
For example, you want to visit an online store website whose DNS information is stored in your DNS cache. Corrupt parties can enter your DNS cache and replace that website's information with their unethical site's DNS information. In most cases, those unscrupulous websites look exactly like the ones you visited. Then, they would lead you to enter your bank or card details to steal your money.
4. Solves the Problem When You're Unable to Access a Website
Flushing your DNS caches can enable you to access websites that you aren't able to. But trying alternative solutions first is better than straight-up clearing your DNS cache. You can discard cookies and temporary internet files, allowing sites to read and save cookies and deactivating pop-up blockers.
If none of that worked, you could flush your DNS cache.
How to Check DNS Cache on Different Operating Systems?
Checking your DNS cache can help retrieve information such as the IP address of a domain name and tracking DNS contents.
Below, we've described how you can check the DNS cache on Windows and Mac OS. If you're a Linux user looking for steps to check the DNS cache, you don't have to. Because Linux doesn't create a DNS cache automatically. But there are some Linux applications you can use to store DNS information.
Follow the steps below to check the DNS cache on Mac.
1. Open the Console App, choose your device, and enter "any:mdnsresponder" in the search bar.
2. Open a terminal window and type "sudo killall –INFO mDNSResponder."
3. Next, return to the Console App, and you should be able to view the list of cached DNS information.
You can also view DNS cache entries on specific browsers. For instance, if you want to see chrome's list of cached DNS information, you can type "chrome://net-internals/#dns" on your URL bar.
Checking your DNS cache on Windows is a piece of cake. All you need to do is open the command prompt by typing "cmd" in the Windows search bar and typing "ipconfig /displaydns."
How to Flush Your DNS Cache?
The steps to flush DNS cache vary according to your operating system. Here, we've mentioned how you can clear your DNS cache on Windows and Mac.
Mac has a CLI (Command Line Interface) called Terminal.app, where you can enter text commands, and the OS will carry them out.
To clear your DNS cache on Mac, type "sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder" in the Terminal. You may need to type in your password as the administrator.
To flush DNS cache on Windows, right-click the start button in the bottom-left corner. Then select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin). When asked if you want to allow Command Prompt/Windows PowerShell to make changes to your computer, click "Yes." Then, type "ipconfig /flushdns" and press enter.
You will see a message saying, "Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache" if the process was successful.
How to Manage DNS Records on Your Strikingly Site?
Strikingly is a ridiculously easy-to-use website builder that ensures users get out of trouble managing their websites as quickly as possible. If you were having difficulty managing your Strikingly website's DNS records, we've explained the process below.
Before proceeding, we want to remind you how you can register a domain with Strikingly for free. You simply have to sign up for any of Strikignly's premium plans and get a free custom domain for one year.
Go to the Strikingly Dashboard and click "Domains." You will be navigated to the following elements:
Image taken from Strikingly
1. Domain Contact Information and Registration Details. You can change your contact details by emailing us your latest details. After the modifications, your domain will be locked for 60 days.
Image taken from Strikingly
2. Domain status. Checking your domain status is essential. Your domain's status can be live, waiting, or unverified. Live status means your domain is active. Waiting means your domain is on the brink of completion. And unverified means you are yet to verify your contact information. It's critical to clear your DNS cache before checking your domain's status.
3. Domain renewal details.
4. DNS manager.
Image taken from Strikingly
Moreover, if you want to add or manage your DNS records, click on "Open DNS manager." DNS manager contains your website's IP address and instructions about your domain name as stored in the DNS server and handles requests for that domain.
In the DNS manager, you can add seven various DNS records.
Image taken from Strikingly
That was all you need to know about DNS records on your Strikingly website; if you still have some queries, you can always visit our robust knowledgebase that contains articles about almost every Strikingly websites related topic.
Lastly, if you haven't yet registered a domain with Strikingly, purchase a premium plan to get a free domain for a year. You would want to take advantage of this exceptional bargain.