What does Recursive DNS server mean?

Recursive DNS server: What is its purpose?

The first thing your browser will do when you try to enter https://www.dnsmanaged.org/ is found the IP address of the domain name dnsmanaged.org. It will inquire, “What is the IP address of dnsmanaged.org?” from the Recursive DNS server.

However, you might be wondering how our browser is able to identify the IP address of the Recursive DNS server. Our workstation/IP device’s address for this server is either explicitly set up or automatically distributed and configured through DHCP.

Let’s move on. The server will then determine whether the cache contains the answer to the query, which is the IP address of dnsmanaged.org. It will immediately deliver the resolution to the browser if it is already in the cache. However, the server will query the DNS root server with the identical query if it is not yet in the cache.

Types of lookups

The Recursive DNS server has two options for completing the lookup:

  • The first type is considered to be considerably more straightforward and quicker. This is because its cache memory contains the IP address. Furthermore, these servers can store data in their cache for a while. How long they should retain the administrators will decide it. They can compute more or less time by using the time-to-live (TTL) value. Actually, the administrators’ approach determines everything. When the Recursive DNS server receives the request, it first checks its cache memory for the IP address. The assignment is finished if the information remains and the TTL hasn’t yet elapsed. The rapid response and lack of need for the server to search for information on other servers make it useful.
  • A bit more time will be needed to complete the second kind of search. It happens when the cache’s TTL has reached the end of its useful life. The IP address is no longer reachable as a result. Conversely, the server makes great strides in gathering the required data. The authoritative server, which can respond to the query, is reached after passing through the root server, the TLD (Top-Level-Domain) server, and the root server.

As a result, finding information is the primary goal of the Recursive DNS server.

Recursive DNS servers versus Authoritative DNS servers

A standard comparison is between an Authoritative DNS server and a Recursive DNS server. Why? Because they are the two servers used to process requests to certain websites, for example. As a result, we can define them as having canonical data that identifies which IP address belongs to which domain.

In summary, authoritative DNS servers manage the “maps” that link the names of your domains to their IP addresses. System administrators often do the configuration of this domain name to IP address mapping. DNS Resolvers are utilized when someone visits a website to look up data. Then, the Recursive DNS servers ask the required authoritative name server for a response. The Recursive Name server subsequently forwards the answer to the requester.


Recursive DNS servers are essential for domains and online services to be accessible. They operate in the DNS background. You have authoritative DNS servers on one side, which store the DNS information for domains and the IP addresses connected to each domain. On the other hand, you have users who could become your customers! Between them, a Recursive DNS server mediates their connection.