DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained)

DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained). Well, the ability to communicate, collaborate and, above all, share files appropriately is what makes organizational management effective. So, if we share files over the network we have two very important and vital protocols to choose -network- DNS and VPN. In the past, file sharing used to be monotonous and expensive. Thanks to these two protocols, file sharing and collaboration with users and servers has become very easy.

Nowadays those tasks are highly dependent on the Internet and various technologies such as DNS and VPN. That is why they are becoming even more crucial. The job of VPN is to hide your IP address and encrypt the web traffic. Whereas, DNS improves your internet speed and security.

Let’s find out more with DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained).

What is DNS?

First of all, DNS stands for Domain Name System. It translates human readable domain names, such as www.example.com, into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the Internet.

When you type a domain name into your web browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to look up the IP address associated with that domain name. Then, DNS returns the IP address to your computer, allowing your web browser to connect to the website you requested.

Features of DNS

  • DNS responsiveness.
  • Supports records: A, AAAA, CNAME, PTR, SOA, TXT.
  • Great for hosting and managing anywhere from a few domains to +100,000 domains. The user interface is optimized to handle really large domain name portfolios.
  • DNS hosts for your domain names, assign domain names to computers and devices for easy access, creates and delegates subdomains, resolves other Internet domain names, and speeds up Internet access with centralized DNS caching
  • Generally DNS is used for load balancing by providing multiple IP addresses for a single domain name. When a client requests a connection to a server, the DNS server distributes traffic evenly across multiple servers by providing the IP address of the server with the current lightest load.
  • DNS also perform reverse DNS lookups. This means that IP addresses are resolved to domain names. This feature is useful for troubleshooting and helps you to determine the source of network traffic.
  • Supports dynamic update. Basically it is updated in real time as new domain names are added or removed from the network. Useful for organizations that need to manage a large number of domain names and want to automate the process of updating DNS records.

Pros of DNS

  • The DNS system is very flexible and consistent.
  • Easy to use and configure.
  • Intelligent traffic routing.
  • Easy to use API’s.
  • Highly efficient systems in the computer network and internet industry.

Cons of DNS

  • Maintenance is difficult. If there is a problem or error in the system, you need to seek expert advice. 
  • At times difficult to troubleshoot and diagnose issues are related to DNS.
  • Hackers and spammers do hack DNS Servers. 
  • Servers are built on a master slave basis, so if the master or central server goes down, the entire system becomes slow or even unresponsive. Ultimately, this prevents websites and apps from loading in the browser.

What is VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. All in all, a technology that allows users to create a secure and encrypted connection over a public network, such as the internet. Besides, a VPN connection creates a private network within a public network, allowing users to access resources and services on the private network, as if they were directly connected to it.

Above all, when a user connects to a VPN, the device establishes a secure tunnel to the VPN server. As a result, all traffic between your device and the VPN server is encrypted, making it difficult for others to intercept or access your data. Hence, VPN server acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet, hiding your IP address and giving you a new IP address associated with the VPN server. In nutshell, this protects your privacy and makes it harder for others to track your online activity.

Features of VPN

  • Encryption (symmetric encryption and Public key encryption).
  • Split Tunnelling
  • No Log Policy.
  • Leak Protection.
  • Loads of  VPN connections. Connect from virtually anywhere in the world. 
  • A VPN kill switch ( feature that disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops). Prevents data from being transmitted outside the secure VPN tunnel.

Pros of VPN

  • Protects you while working remotely.
  • Works as a handy protection tool for activists in hostile environments.
  • Changes your online location to any specific region to get access to local content.
  • Ensures privacy and anonymity as your online data and internet traffic gets encrypted.
  • Unblock all types of restricted and censored content.

Cons of VPN

  • VPN slows down your internet speed. Also this is due to the need for signals to be transmitted over long distances and the requirements of encryption and decryption processes. Choose a service that has minimal impact on your internet speed.
  • VPN server has low speed at times. 
  • Illegal to use a VPN in some countries.
  • Most VPN services are based on a network connection. When it fails you usually  do not notified. So, if you use a VPN service, you may suddenly lose your internet. Data is exposed, connectivity is disrupted, and privacy is compromised.
  • Large enterprises and government agencies use virtual private networks to protect themselves from cyber attacks. However, attackers also use VPN services to steal data or use them as targets to launch their own malicious attacks.

We have reached the main part of the article DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained).

DNS vs VPN - Key Differences

Both, Domain Name System (DNS) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) are technologies used to improve Internet connectivity, but they have different functions and purposes. Here are the main differences between DNS and VPN:


DNS is usually implemented by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or organizations that host their own domain names and websites. Users also configure their own DNS settings to use custom DNS servers that help improve performance, security, or bypass content censorship and restrictions.

VPN on the other hand, is implemented using specific software or hardware. To use a VPN, users must first download and install a VPN client or configure their devices to connect to a VPN server. VPNs are set up on a variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.


In this instance, DNS resolution is the process of translating a domain name into the IP address your device needs to access websites and other Internet resources. However, DNS queries do reveal information about your internet activity, including the websites you visit and the services you use. This information is potentially used to track or monitor user activity that could compromise user privacy.

Well, with VPN it is designed to provide privacy and security by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address. When a user connects to a VPN server, their internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server, making it difficult for others to intercept or monitor the traffic.


Security with DNS -the queries are intercepted or modified by attackers, resulting in DNS spoofing attacks that redirect users to malicious websites. DNS security measures such as DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and DNS over HTTPS (DoH) help to prevent DNS spoofing attacks and protect the integrity of DNS queries.

A VPN, on the other hand, is designed to provide security by encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address. When a user connects to a VPN server, their internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server, preventing others from intercepting or monitoring the traffic.


Speed with DNS, it requests affect your Internet speed by delaying the domain name resolution process. However, DNS queries are usually very small and fast so the impact on internet speed is usually negligible. Moreover, DNS does not encrypt your data, making your connection faster.

Oppositely the case with VPN. Encrypting and decrypting your internet traffic potentially slows down your internet. When a user connects to a VPN server, their internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server, which increases processing time and increases latency. But ultimately, the level of impact on your internet speed varies depending on the distance between your location and the VPN server, the quality of the VPN service and the encryption protocol used.


Accessibility -with DNS is typically provided by the user’s internet service provider (ISP) or a third party DNS provider. Basically, DNS is widely accessible and is used by anyone with an internet connection.

On the other hand, VPNs are not universally accessible, and their use may be restricted by governments or other authorities in some countries. Additionally, some organizations may restrict access to VPNs for their employees or may require specific configurations for their use.

Also Read

Firewall Bypass

What about bypassing firewall? DNS can’t bypass the IP blocks but a VPN easily does that.

Thank you for reading DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained). We shall conclude this article. 

DNS vs VPN – What’s the Difference ? (Explained) Conclusion

In conclusion, DNS and VPN are two different technologies used for different purposes. Ultimately, DNS is used to resolve domain names to IP addresses, whereas VPN is used to create a secure and encrypted connection between your device and a remote server. Finally, DNS is widely available and is used by anyone with an internet connection, while VPNs restrict usage or require specific settings. Summarizing, both technologies are important to the security and accessibility of the Internet, and their use depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

If you want to learn more about DNS and VPNs, click navigate here for DNS and here for vpn content.

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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