How To

When Should I Flush My DNS Cache

The DNS cache, also known as DNS resolver keeps the record of domain addresses that are interpreted into IP addresses while web browsing and similar activities. Indeed, the DNS cache is a temporary database of recently visited web addresses which is maintained by a computer’s operating system.

The primary role of DNS cache is speeding up the subsequent requests to the same hostname. As DNS cache keeps the copy of recently visited web addresses in the local database, the browser can quickly display those web addresses when a user revisits them.

It happens because the browser checks for IP address in a local cache before requesting a query to the server. If it is already available in the local cache, the browser will not take time to load that website. Though DNS cache improves user experience yet it can give birth to various glitches that can be lethal to your personal security.

Every operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac) has its own way to flush DNS. Therefore, you must know the right flush DNS cache command that works for your operating system. In this post, we will get to know about some circumstances where flushing the DNS cache can prove a wise decision for you.

Let’s take a look at situations when flushing DNS should be your necessary step.

1. If Your DNS Cache is Poisonous or Polluted

As we mentioned above, the primary role of DNS Cache is to store the records of recently visited domain names but unfortunately, it does not maintain the list of bad and unauthorized domain names separately. Therefore, it can become polluted by storing the IP addresses from unauthorized domain names.

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In most cases, invalid DNS entries are responsible for cache poisoning, but sometimes, technical glitches, Malware, and administrative accidents are actual culprits behind it. In case your computer is facing trouble reaching to a certain domain, it can also a sign of corrupted DNS cache.

Risks

Most of the internet users are not aware that polluted DNS cache can cause several risks. The one biggest risk is data theft. Websites associated with banking services and online retail are more prone to be spoofed. Information of credit cards, passwords may also be compromised. If a spoofed website uses the internet security provider, the user’s device may be vulnerable to Trojans and viruses as well because then the authorized security updates will not be performed. Nevertheless, flushing DNS cache can help you prevent this kind of situation.

Some Tips to Prevent DNS Poisoning 

-Never click on a URL, you don’t recognize.

-Scan your device for Malware and other viruses on regular basis.

-Always use a local program, instead of a hosted version, because poisoning can spoof web-based results.

2. When You’re Using a Public Computer

DNS flushing can be quite helpful in keeping your privacy protected. As you know DNS cache records recently visited web address into a browser, it can turn into a big threat to your personal security. Anyone who has access to your computer can easily view your DNS cache and look at websites you have recently visited. It just a matter of launching a command and the list of your recent entries will be in front of a person who wants to gain access to your data.

The situation can become worse if someone keeps the capability to temper the DNS information in a cache. If you are using a public computer or multi-user computer, you must flush your DNS cache. By clearing DNS cache on regular basis, you can curtail the chance of falling your private information into the wrong hands for sure.

3. During Server Migration

If you are a website owner, then this section is for you. Flushing DNS cache is quite useful for website owners during the server migration. Though you can make immediate changes to your DNS server yet changes to the cache will take at least 48 hours. During this time period, your visitor will be trying to access a website which no longer available at its old IP address. It will be very annoying for you and your loyal audience as well. Nevertheless, you can resolve this issue by clearing your DNS server cache.

When you will clear the DNS cache, it will enforce your DNS server to look up for the new IP address for the domain name. This way, DNS server will not rely on the cached address anymore and will get immediate access to the correct IP address.

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If repeated traffic is the major source of traffic on your website, DNS flushing becomes exceptionally important for you while server migration.

4. You may Consider DNS Flushing as a Regular Maintenance 

For most people, flushing DNS cache is a reasonable regular maintenance practice. Though DNS cache data requires very little space yet this data list can get long if you are not clearing the cache for quite a long time. Web addresses which are no longer in use must be deleted so that there is a space for fresh entries.

Moreover, if returning bad results or 404 errors are putting your in distress, clearing cache should be your first step to resolve these issues.

5. When Your Computer is Slowing Down

Sometimes, excessive DNS cache data may slow down your computer system as excessive cache requires more memory to process the data. If your DNS cache has a record of useless domain addresses that you are not going to use in near future you must consider flushing the cache.

Clearing DNS cache will surely speed up your computer and its applications’ performance. 

Wrapping Up

No matter whether you are using Windows, Linux, Mac or any other operating system, flushing DNS cache can help you get rid of the myriad of issues. However, as we said in the beginning, every operating system has a different method for clearing the DNS cache you should use the right method only.

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Isaac Newton

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