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What causes a DNS outage?

What exactly is a DNS outage?

A DNS outage, also known as DNS downtime, is a period of time when the DNS is not functioning correctly. This means that if you look up the domain name, you won’t see its IP address. Instead, users will make DNS requests in order to reach your domain. The DNS recursive server will request the domain’s authoritative nameserver, but it will receive an error message as a response.

What can cause a DNS outage?

Several things can trigger it. Some of which are as follows: 

  • The maintenance of authoritative name servers. Updates or reboots are occasionally required as part of routine maintenance. This disables the server’s ability to respond to DNS requests.
  • Errors in configuration. DNS outages can be caused by various human errors when configuring DNS. For example, script errors, incorrectly typed IP addresses, firewall configuration issues, and so on.
  • An occurrence in the data center (the location of the authoritative name server). The “cloud” is located in a data center or multiple data centers, not in the sky. And while such locations are safe, they are not foolproof. Especially when it comes to natural disasters, power outages, and other issues, so, several things can cause your authoritative name server to go offline.
  • DoS and DDoS attacks. They are two types of distributed denial-of-service attacks. The purpose of DoS and DDoS assaults is to cause a denial of service. You will experience a DNS outage if they succeed.

What makes it so bad?

Nobody will be able to see your site if the DNS is down, and any services associated with the domain name, such as email, will be unavailable. To reclaim all of the temporarily lost functionality, you’ll need to restart it.

During this time, you can:

  • Miss out on possible visitors.
  • To lose the potential sales
  • Have issues with email, FTP, VoIP, and other services

How to prevent a DNS outage?

Yes, you could avoid the DNS outage. However, there are some steps you can do to prevent future DNS outages:

Secondary DNS

Using a backup DNS server is the simplest method that can save you in most circumstances, ideally, with a different DNS provider. Even if the primary DNS is down, the secondary DNS will allow you to have alternative authoritative DNS servers that can still answer queries. The greater the number, the better.

Load Balancing 

You can set up your nameservers to route traffic between them using a load balancing approach. You can be confident that the weight is not falling on one of them this way. The performance and resilience of your DNS network will be improved by spreading the heavy load.

DNS Monitoring service

The only way to know traffic like the back of your hand is to monitor it continually. You can distinguish between typical and abnormal traffic this way. You can take action based on traffic behavior to avert an attack or to deal with a regular spike in traffic. Current solutions allow you to monitor specific places in real-time to identify whether the problem is local, regional, global, and so on.

DDoS protection

A DDoS attack is often the cause of a domain name problem. Unfortunately, traffic attacks have become relatively inexpensive, and it is usual for cybercriminals, sometimes hired by your competitors, to pull your domain down. Get DNS server DDoS protection that can withstand heavy load.


Now, you know how dangerous a DNS outage is. It is the equivalent of a heart attack for your online business. Don’t let this put a halt to your operations and harm your reputation. However, be informed of its causes so that you can prevent it in time!