What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name Server (Service or System). DNS translates domain names such as our own www.start-vpn.com into an IP address format (126.96.36.199). While it’s easy for people to remember the domain names of their favorite websites, computers are different and need to use an IP address to access sites.
Domain Name Servers are a directory of domain names which translate the domain names into IP addresses. DNS is often explained as being like an online phone book, but instead of having a telephone number connected to a name in the directory, it will have an IP address connected with the domain name.
With the increase in internet censorship, repressive governments often launch DNS “man in the middle” attacks as a way to censor websites or internet services. For example, if a user tries to access a website such as Facebook in a country like China, the Chinese government will intercept the DNS request and redirect you to an error page. Also, coffee shops and other public WiFi hotspots will often configure their DNS servers to deny access to specific types of websites.
The added security of choosing a VPN provider that runs its own DNS servers.
3rd party DNS servers such as Google’s log a lot of information when you go online, such as IP address, websites you visit, and your geolocation data. VyprDNS, which is a free DNS service run by Golden Frog the makers of VyprVPN for its own client base, is a zero-knowledge DNS. This means Golden Frog will never retain data about requests made to their DNS servers. Because VyprDNS receives DNS requests over Golden Frog’s own network (which they independently own and manage) DNS requests cannot be monitored, logged or manipulated by third parties like the DNS services provided by Google or OpenDNS can.
Please see the following infographic taken from the VyprVPN website for a more visual explanation of DNS.