Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS – Which one to choose?

Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS – Which one to choose?

Let’s make the comparison Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS. Both of them are mechanisms for routing the incoming traffic of a domain name. Yet, they are very different from one another. So, let’s explain a little bit more about Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS!

Anycast DNS – What is it?

Anycast DNS is a routing mechanism that implements multiple name servers. Each one of them is placed in a different geographical position. Yet, the entire group of name servers stores the very same IP address, and each of them is able to provide it. That means the DNS information (containing all available DNS records) for your domain name is stored not on one but multiple name servers.

When a user requests your domain, the DNS server, which is closer, is going to answer and provide the needed data. In case a particular server from the group is not operating, the DNS query is going to receive an answer from one of the other available DNS servers. That affects in a positive way aspects like waiting for a response, loading time, and of course, the user experience.

Unicast DNS explained

Unicast DNS is a routing mechanism that uses a single name server. That means the IP address and the entire DNS data of your domain name are held only on a single DNS server. In this situation, the location of the user does not matter. All of the incoming DNS requests are going to receive an answer from this precise name server. So, if the user is initiating the DNS query from a location that is closer to the name server, it is going to get a fast reply. While in situations when the user is in a completely different location away from that server, it is going to require more time for getting a response.

Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS

When we are comparing Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS, we can use several factors and criteria to help you decide which one is the better option for your needs. 

  • Easy to use – Unicast DNS means one machine and one IP address. Therefore, installing Unicast DNS could be a little bit simpler. However, it is not that difficult to implement Anycast DNS too. For Unicast DNS, you have to maintain just a single server. Configuring a group of servers requires a little bit more effort.
  • Security – In cases when an individual DNS server stores all of your domain name data and gets attacked or crashes, it can lead to some big losses. The accessibility to your domain is going to be extremely affected, which leads to financial and reputation damages. Anycast DNS provides you with a group of servers, and even if one of them goes down, you can rely on others to take care of the incoming DNS requests.
  • Response time – Anycast DNS provides really fast replies and decreases the waiting time. That means your potential clients won’t leave your website. 
  • Target market – In case you are interested in offering your services or products in a local market, then Unicast DNS is your perfect choice. However, if your target market is a multinational, it is going to be best if you consider Anycast DNS.

DNS propagation: Complete breakdown of the process

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