DNS outage – Everything you need to know

Imagine you have been preparing for months for the special sale of your e-shop. Clients impatiently wait for the countdown to point out the beginning. And when they all try to access your website, your domain name can’t be loaded. Clients receive an error message on every try. Yes, pretty sure your e-shop is experiencing a DNS outage.

And the issue is that this can make your clients angry or disappointed. You will lose money, and your reputation can be affected.

Better be prepared and know more about DNS outages. Here you have everything you need to know. Including how to prevent them!

What’s a DNS outage?

DNS outage or DNS downtime, as it’s also called, is a time interval during which a domain name can’t be resolved to its IP address.

The Domain Name System (DNS) and its resolution process are essential for accessing any domain name. If there’s a failure causing the DNS not to work, the necessary translation from domain name to IP address won’t happen. So the domain won’t be located, and therefore, its content won’t be accessible to visitors.

What causes a DNS outage?

A DNS outage can happen due to different causes:

  • Human errors. Yes, humans are behind a large number of DNS outages. For example, a script error, a misconfiguration, or a single typo on the IP address of the domain name can cause a DNS failure.
  • DDoS attacks. If the traffic overloads sent by attackers make your DNS servers crash, the domain name will be down.

Suggested article: DDoS amplification attacks by Memcached

  • Lack of redundancy. Of course, you can run your domain name with only an authoritative server, but it can be risky. Software or hardware failures, updates, regular maintenance, or a cyber attack can shut it down.
  • Propagation delays. Online businesses must delete, edit, or add different DNS records regularly. Propagating these modifications or updates across a complete network can take time. Technically, this is not an error or a cause of a DNS outage, but visitors who can’t reach your domain will perceive it like that. Once the DNS propagation gets completed, everything will be ok.

How to prevent a DNS outage?

Look for redundancy

Redundancy is key! You can use Secondary DNS services. Using multiple Secondary DNS servers, you can set them as Secondary authoritative nameservers. In case the Primary gets attacked or suffers downtime, the Secondary servers will answer the DNS requests of your clients.

Use DNS failover

This technology can automatically redirect traffic to a different server. In case of a server’s failure, DNS failover will get activated for the DNS resolution process to keep going. So your website will be accessible even if a server falls.

DNS load balancing

Load balancing is a great practice to avoid a DNS outage. While distributing traffic through the available servers, it can handle traffic spikes and prevent servers from being overloaded.


Preventing DNS outages on your online business is possible! Take action now! Don’t let it stop your operation.

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