How To Fix DNS Server Unavailable? [Latest Guide 2021]

The internet that we are using today is far more stable than it was 10 years ago and not only the excess has been made easier, but the costs of installation and monthly plans have also gone drastically down. Thanks to multiple resources being opted by the service providers, we are highly inveterate to the no-interruption internet service. Any error shown in the connection such as “Server DNS Address can’t be found”, “DNS Server Unavailable”, etc. will give us headaches and we start to keep contacting our service provider. In this guide, we will focus on introducing you to all the key details that you must know when it comes to DNS servers. 

For those who are unaware of what a DNS server is, we will briefly explain it to you. DNS is an abbreviated form of Domain Name System and it is the server where all of your visited domains are saved. It is done in order to make the whole process faster by immediately getting the response from the corresponding IP. It will save your router to create a new request to reach that domain as it will take much longer than accessing it through the DNS server. The problem arises when this server fails to connect. 

How Do DNS Servers Work?

The process is highly advanced but you can understand the basic functionality and why it’s important. The computers don’t understand what we are giving it as input from our keyboard. The DNS mechanism will basically convert the hostname, e.g. www.forexample.com, into an IP address that can be understood by the device you are on. The example of an IP address is 192.168.1.1 and it will be assigned to all the devices that will connect to the internet. It is essential similarly to the address of a home that is on the street. 

If you want to reach a webpage, the forexample.com must be converted into an IP address that the computer and the servers can actually understand. No matter whether you are an average or a heavy user, the “DNS server might be unavailable” or any such error will pop up and you should make yourself familiar with the troubleshooting tips. It will require a particular process and a few hardware components through which the request will go through.

While using a browser, all of it happens behind the scenes and once the request is sent from the device, it will no longer put any strain on it. 

Opening a Webpage: 4 Required Servers:

The behind the scenes or the components that we have mentioned above are these following ones that will be required for the DNS request to go through and successfully load a webpage. 

DNS Recursor:

You can understand it in the simplest way by the example of a librarian. They are asked to get you a particular book from the library, Recursor works in a similar way. The primary functionality of this server is to entertain the requests/queries that a client is making through any web browser application. Moving forward, Recursor is then liable to forward the requests to required servers.

Root Name Server:

It will be the first tool that will be used in resolving the entered hostname to the machine-friendly numbers, i.e. an IP address. Carrying forward the librarian example, you can consider it as the index that will indicate different racks of the books according to where they are kept. The server will also point out a list of more precise locations. 

Top-level Domain Server:

Also known as TLD server, it is the rack where the book you need is kept. This domain server is basically the last portion of the entered hostname, in the www.forexample.com, “com” is the TLD server. It can be anything such as “org”, “in”, “co”, etc. based on the hostname.

Authoritative Server:

It is the final step that will be needed to load the page. The example of a library can be the best one to understand it as well. This step can be considered as looking into the dictionary that is kept on the rack. Once it finds the requested hostname, the IP address will be sent back by the authoritative server to the recursor from where the request was made. 

Steps Included In The DNS Lookup:

For a beginner, who is getting errors like “DNS server might be unavailable” will try to understand the process behind this advanced mechanism. Here are the steps that will happen behind the scenes. 

  • The user will enter the hostname www.forexample.com in the search box and it will be taken to the DNS recursor through the internet. 
  • It will further forward the query to the nameserver. It will revert with the TLD address, which is the storage for all the domain names. In the following case, it has to be “.com”. 
  • The recursor will send the request to the TLD server and it will revert with the IP address of the destination domain.
  • The recursor will finally send the IP to the application form where the initial request was made. 

Once the steps are done, the web browser will request the server to load the page in HTTP protocol. The server will then follow the process to revert to that IP so the webpage can be loaded.

How To Fix The “DNS Server Unavailable” Error?

There are high chances that you already got the error where it showed that the server is unavailable at the moment quite many times. The error can be due to a number of reasons, however, most of the time, it can be resolved by simply switching the browser that you are using. Along with it, the firewall might also be causing some confusion and the web browser is unable to place the request. A simple reboot will also be able to resolve some local issues that might be occurring up. 

The error message that you will get upon troubleshooting will look something like this:

Though it will depend on you which solution you want to go for, we would highly recommend switching the browsers to check whether the issue is with a browser. To further confirm, you should try to open the same webpage on the mobile device. If the problem persists, turn off your Wi-Fi and open the webpage using mobile data. 

If any of these troubleshooting tips didn’t work out, you will need to follow a few more extensive tips to resolve the issue. 

DNS Flushing:

Apart from the basic ones, the most effective & efficient method to resolve the unavailable DNS server is to flush it using the Command Prompt. 

  • Press the Win+R button to launch the Run window. In the text field, you will need to enter cmd. Hit Enter.

  • Once the prompt opens, you will need to enter the command:
    ipconfig /flushdns 
  • Next up, write the command ipconfig /release, hit Enter. Once it’s released, you will need to renew it. The command will be ipconfig /renew. Hit Enter. Opt for closing all those windows and then opt for rebooting your system. 

Get Rid Of More Than One Antivirus:

Yes,, it’s true that you can never get yourself too protected in the real world. It’s the opposite when it comes to virtual machines. If you are using multiple anti-virus software applications on your computer, it will obstruct the overall protection and errors such as DNS server unavailable WiFi will appear. 

You should cross-check whether you have unintentionally installed two antivirus applications. Remove the one that you don’t prefer and reboot the computer. The problem must be resolved by now. 

Resetting TCP/IP:

The netsh command will help you in resetting the TCP/IP protocol that has the potential to fix the DNS server issue. Let’s dive into the steps. 

  • Right-click on the Start menu and go to the Command Prompt (Admin). If you can’t spot this one, you will need to go to PowerShell (Admin).

  • When the prompt window appears, enter the command netsh int ip reset.

  • Once it’s successfully executed, the problem must be resolved by now. 

Manually Enter The IP Address:

The reason behind your DNS server might be unavailable might be because the TCP/IP protocol isn’t able to obtain the IP address, automatically. You can fix the issue by entering the IP address manually. 

  • Open the Run window and enter ncpa.cpl.

  • Find the network through which you are accessing the internet and then right-click on it. Click on Properties.

  • Once the dialog box opens up, select the TCP/IPv4 and then click on Properties. Select the options that say Use the Following IP Address.

Enter the required details such as Subnet Mask, IP Address, and Default Gateway. It will also prompt you to enter the primary & secondary DNS servers.

  • Hit Ok and check whether the problem is resolved.

How to Avoid DNS Issues?

There are minimal to zero chances that you will get to completely eliminate the DNS issues on your network, however, you can implement some techniques to be able to avoid them. In the above sections, we hope that you are able to get the answers for how to fix DNS server unavailable issues.

The most basic thing that you need to make sure of is that all the drivers are updated, and also keep running the speed tests for better network diagnostics.

Ways to Change DNS Servers:

Well, we can’t deny the possibility that DNS server issues will surely be resolved after these aforementioned tips & tricks. If you are still facing the said issues, there is only one thing that you can do is to change the DNS servers. There are various public servers that you can choose from; however, Google’s is the most popular one. 

In this section, we are going to discuss a couple of methods for the same. 

Using The Router:

  • Launch a web browser and enter the default gateway to log into the router. It will be mentioned on the rear panel of the router. You may happen to locate it on the PC. Follow the steps:
    • Open the Command Prompt and enter the command ipconfig
    • The default gateway will be mentioned here. You can copy it from here.

  • Once logged in, find the section where you will get all the account info. Here, you will have to navigate to the DNS Server tab. 
  • You will need to select IPv6 or IPv4 based on the protocol that you are using. Replace the server address, if you are going to use Google’s, it will be 8.8.8.8 for the IPv4 protocol. The alternate address will be 8.8.4.4.
  • Hit Save to apply the changes.

Using Windows:

  • Hit Win+R and go to Network Connections using the command ncpa.cpl. You will need to locate the network that you are using. 
  • Right-click on it and click on the Properties tab. Under the Networking tab, you will need to set the protocol to use the manually entered address.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ's)

  • Why is my DNS server unavailable?

It can happen due to various reasons, the primary one that might be the case is you have configured the DNS server address manually. You can set the protocol to obtain the IP address automatically.

  • What is called DNS failure?

When the server that you are using will not be able to convert the hostname into an IP address so that the machines can understand, it will be termed as DNS failure. 

  • How can I reset the DNS server?

It can be done very easily through a command prompt using the /flushdns command.

  • What are the 4 servers on which the DNS server is based upon?

These servers are recursor, root name server, TLD server, and Authoritative server. 

  • How can I avoid DNS failure?

It’s obvious that there is no troubleshooting method that you can turn on to completely eliminate the failure, but you can minimize the chances by keeping all the software applications and drivers updated.

Conclusion

After all these tips & tricks, we hope that you are able to resolve any or all issues related to the DNS server. You can check whether it’s working or not by launching a browser and entering any well-known website. If it loads up instantly, it means that the new DNS server that you have configured is working fine. The guide that we have compiled here is quite straightforward and you will not need to seek any professional help. 

Sean

Sean

My name is Sean and I started this project in 2020. It has been growing ever since. I am a serial tech entrepreneur and a tech geek. My experience in blogging and technology helps me understand what type of content people are looking for and I intend to provide the information in the best possible way.

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