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Alternative DNS server, for what exactly?

Earlier today I noticed that youtube was mysteriously no longer available to me.  The first thing I checked was whether I could ping it…unknown host.  I brought up nslookup and tried there and the primary server for Google DNS wasn’t responding to my query.

Now, in Windows and Mac, you can specify a secondary (or more on Mac) set of DNS servers…yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen them used.  In this particular case, via the nslookup command I tried the secondary server and it worked…so what is the purpose of the secondary server if it isn’t used when the primary doesn’t respond?

I’m half-venting here…but I am curious if anyone knows why it isn’t used.



About James

I am a Senior Developer/Consultant for InfoPlanIT, LLC. I previously spent over 7 years as a Product Manager for what eventually became ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity. While there, I helped to create ActiveReports 7, GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis, and Data Dynamics Reports.


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