What is DNS Forwarding? How does it work? 

What is DNS Forwarding? How does it work? 


When setting up a new network, using a reliable ISP is the best place to start, but there are many other ways to increase network speed. One option to speed up your network is by using a DNS forwarding server; in fact, it works so well that this is practically standard practise nowadays. 

DNS forwarding is a technique that you should consider right away if you want to expedite the DNS name resolving process. When a user requests a domain name and the user’s DNS server is unable to locate the corresponding IP address in its zones of authority or in its DNS cache, DNS forwarding comes in rather handy. Ultimately, the DNS server oversees translating the domain name into the corresponding IP address. Alternatively, the forward-DNS-resolution-request function can be used to forward queries for an resolvable address to other name servers. 

In situations when businesses and people have very vast namespaces, DNS forwarding is especially helpful. If any of the cooperating organisations are having trouble resolving domains, they can utilise DNS forwarding to resolve each other’s namespace, which will speed up name resolution. 

With this article, we will get into the intrinsic of what is DNS forwarding and how does it work and what are the best practices for the same. So, if you want to know more, please keep reading.  


What is the true meaning of DNS forwarding? 


Using a technique known as DNS forwarding, if the first server contacted is unable to resolve a DNS request or address, a second server, known as a root hint server, handles the request or address. Any forwarder that is responsible for forwarding requests that the server is unable to process to another server is typically present on every server that converts domain names into IP addresses.  

Because it allows them to manage each other’s namespaces, firms with huge namespaces or companies that collaborate frequently employ this strategy.  


How does DNS forwarding work in practise? 


Let’s investigate DNS forwarding in more detail. Since the internal network doesn’t use a DNS forwarder, confidential internal DNS information may become publicly available online if the root hint server is made public. This programme can also be used if your network lacks an internal DNS forwarder, and your ISP rates are excessively high. It can also be used if your network is experiencing slow links. You ought to make use of it in each of these scenarios. These problems occur because of the increased external traffic that an internal DNS forwarder introduces, which makes the system more difficult to manage.  

The amount of data that arrives from the external DNS will be reduced by using a DNS forwarder to help create an internal cache for external DNS data.  


Best practices for DNS forwarding 


The most effective methods for DNS In today’s internet-driven world, forwarding DNS queries is a necessary operation. If you only have access to one DNS server, you should set it up so that it acts as a forwarder. If you have more than one, you have the option of configuring any one of them, part of them, or all of them as forwarders. In addition to this, you may ensure that DNS forwarders work at their very best by adhering to the practises that are described below.  


1.Turn off the recursion


DNS servers can query other servers on behalf of the client if the recursion feature is enabled. While this is helpful for the process of DNS forwarding, it also puts your network at risk of being compromised. If you turn it off, then the likelihood of being assaulted will go down. Additionally, the traffic load will be decreased, and the speed of your network will increase as a result.  


2.Validation of DNSSEC should be enabled


DNSSEC, which stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions, is a set of security protocols that guard against attacks using DNS spoofing and cache poisoning. DNS forwarders conduct digital signature checks if the option is turned on. If the signature does not match, the answer is thrown away, and an error message is communicated to the client. 

Having said that, you must only use it while connected to a safe network. In that case, hackers will be able to intercept and manipulate the data that is being transferred. 


3.Keep an eye on the DNS Servers


Monitoring your DNS servers on a regular basis will alert you to any potential technical concerns, enabling you to take prompt corrective action. This cuts down on the downtime, which would otherwise have a significant negative impact on your company.  

To stay ahead of any security risks, you should also review the logs of the DNS forwarder. This will allow you to identify any suspicious activity or irresponsible user behaviour.  


4.Construct a new configuration and perform tests on it


If your primary configuration fails, switching to an alternative forwarder will be possible thanks to an alternate configuration. This will, once again, cut down on downtime and ensure that your resources remain accessible. Before constructing a new arrangement, it is imperative that the alternative configuration be tested first.  


5.Maintain regular backups of the data on the DNS server


Attackers with malicious intent target your server to change or remove data. When you back up the data on your DNS server, you may restore it more rapidly without interrupting the flow of traffic on your network. Without backups, it could take hours or even days to restore everything, which would have a significant negative impact on your company. 




Malicious cyber-attacks attempt to modify or delete data on your server. Backing up DNS server data allows you to restore it fast without affecting network traffic. Without backups, restoring everything will take hours or even days, severely affecting your business. 

Here is hoping that the concept of DNS forwarding is crystal clear to you and that you have understood what it means, how it works and what are the best practices for the same. 

BigRock is a reliable domain, web security and web hosting provider that offers 99.9% up-time, 24/7 support, high scalability and performance. In case you have any doubts, queries or feedback for this article, please share them in the comments section below.