The Most Popular DNS Server Software: A Ranking of Top Choices

Choose the software you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 07:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination to discover the most popular DNS server software! As a hub for countless polls and rankings on a plethora of topics, we're excited to present our latest ranking - "What is the most popular DNS server software?" Dive into the world of Domain Name Systems and vote for your favorite software, or make a valuable contribution by suggesting a missing option. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and experts in shaping the DNS landscape, as we unravel the top choices in this crucial aspect of internet infrastructure. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the conversation and influence the outcome - participate now and let your voice be heard!

What Is the Most Popular DNS Server Software?

  1. 1
    BIND has the highest usage share of any DNS server software, with over 70% of the market share. It is a mature, stable and reliable software package that has been in use since 1985.
    BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is an open-source DNS server software widely recognized as the most popular and widely used DNS server software in the world. It provides domain name resolution services, converting human-readable domain names into IP addresses. Developed at the University of California, Berkeley, BIND was initially created by Paul Vixie in the 1980s and has been maintained and further developed by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC).
    • Software Type: DNS Server Software
    • Initial Release: 1984
    • License: Open Source (ISC License)
    • Supported Platforms: Unix-like, Windows, macOS
    • RFC Compliance: Various RFCs, including RFC 1034, RFC 1035, RFC 2181
  2. 2
    PowerDNS is an open-source DNS server software that can handle large amounts of traffic and is highly scalable. It supports a variety of backends, including SQL databases and NoSQL data stores.
    PowerDNS is a popular open-source DNS server software that is known for its flexibility and scalability. It can be used for authoritative name serving, as well as DNS forwarding and DNSSEC. PowerDNS has a modular design, allowing users to choose from various backends and add-ons to suit their needs. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6, and provides various features for managing DNS data.
    • Modular Design: Allows for customization and flexibility
    • Multiple Backends: Supports various database backends
    • DNSSEC Support: Enables secure DNS communications
    • IPv6 Support: Fully compatible with IPv6 addresses
    • High Scalability: Handles high traffic loads efficiently
  3. 3
    Unbound is another open-source DNS server software that is designed to be fast and secure. It is often used as a caching resolver and can handle large volumes of traffic.
    Unbound is a popular open-source DNS server software that focuses on being fast, secure, and recursive. It provides a high level of flexibility and customization options, making it suitable for both small-scale deployments and large enterprise networks.
    • Performance: Unbound is known for its excellent performance, with high query throughput and low response times.
    • Security: Unbound incorporates several security features, including DNSSEC validation, TLS support for encrypted communications, and DNS over HTTPS (DoH) support.
    • Recursive Resolver: Unbound operates as a recursive resolver, allowing it to resolve DNS queries by recursively querying authoritative DNS servers.
    • Caching: Unbound includes a powerful caching system that can significantly reduce response times by storing frequently accessed DNS records.
    • Forwarding: Unbound can act as a forwarding server, forwarding DNS queries to other DNS resolvers.
  4. 4
    dnsmasq dnsmasq is dnsmasq is a lightweight DNS server software that is often used on small networks and home routers. It can provide DNS caching, DHCP services, and network address translation.
    dnsmasq is a lightweight and simple DNS server software primarily designed for small networks and embedded devices. It provides DNS forwarding, DHCP services, and DNS caching capabilities. It is known for its ease of configuration and low resource requirements.
    • DNS Forwarding: Allows DNS queries to be forwarded to upstream DNS servers for resolution.
    • DHCP Services: Provides DHCP server and client functionality, allowing dynamic IP address allocation.
    • DNS Caching: Caches DNS responses to improve response times and reduce network traffic.
    • TFTP Server: Includes a built-in TFTP server for network booting or file transfer.
    • Support for IPv6: Supports both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols for DNS and DHCP services.
  5. 5

    Knot DNS

    CZ.NIC Labs
    Knot DNS is a modern, high-performance DNS server software that is designed to be secure and scalable. It supports DNSSEC and can handle large volumes of traffic.
    Knot DNS is a high-performance authoritative DNS server software designed for security, scalability, and flexibility. It is widely used in both small and large-scale deployments.
    • Performance: Knot DNS is built for speed, capable of handling millions of queries per second.
    • Security: It implements key security features like DNSSEC and DANE to protect against DNS-based attacks and ensure data integrity.
    • Scalability: Knot DNS is designed to scale effortlessly, allowing seamless handling of increasing query volumes.
    • Flexibility: It offers flexible zone handling and supports various DNS record types, making it adaptable to different environments and use cases.
    • Multi-platform support: Knot DNS is available for major operating systems, including Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows.
  6. 6
    MaraDNS is a lightweight DNS server software that is designed to be secure and simple to use. It is often used on small networks and can handle moderate volumes of traffic.
    MaraDNS is a lightweight open-source DNS server software designed for UNIX-like systems. It was created with a primary focus on security, simplicity, and resource efficiency.
    • Recursive Resolver: Supports recursion for client queries.
    • Authoritative Server: Capable of hosting authoritative DNS zones.
    • TCP and UDP support: Supports DNS queries over TCP and UDP protocols.
    • DNSSEC: Provides support for DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC).
    • Zone Transfers: Supports incremental zone transfers for efficient synchronization between DNS servers.
  7. 7
    NSD is an open-source DNS server software that is designed to be fast and scalable. It is often used as a primary name server and can handle large volumes of traffic.
    NSD (Name Server Daemon) is an open-source, authoritative-only Domain Name System (DNS) server software. It is designed to be efficient, lightweight, and secure, providing high performance and scalability for large deployments. NSD focuses on delivering fast, reliable DNS services while utilizing minimal system resources.
    • Supported platforms: Unix-like systems (Linux, BSD, macOS, Solaris)
    • DNS standards compliance: Fully compliant with DNS standards (RFCs 1034, 1035, 1995, 1996, and more)
    • Zone transfer support: Supports both AXFR (full zone transfer) and IXFR (incremental zone transfer) methods
    • DNSSEC support: Integration with DNSSEC for secure zone signing and validation (RFCs 4033-4035)
    • IPv6 support: Full IPv6 protocol support for both server and resolver functionality
  8. 8
    MyDNS is a simple DNS server software that is designed to be easy to configure and use. It is often used on small networks and can handle moderate volumes of traffic.
    MyDNS is a DNS server software designed for small to medium-sized networks. It is known for its simplicity, flexibility, and compatibility with various operating systems and platforms. Developed by Don Moore, MyDNS provides robust DNS services and efficient DNS resolution.
    • Operating Systems: Linux, FreeBSD, macOS
    • Platform: x86
    • DNS Protocol: UDP, TCP
    • Supported DNS Records: A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, NS, PTR, SOA, TXT
    • DNSSEC Support: No
  9. 9
    djbdns djbdns is djbdns is a DNS server software that is designed to be secure and reliable. It is often used on small networks and can handle moderate volumes of traffic.
    djbdns is a highly secure and efficient DNS server software. It was created by Daniel J. Bernstein, a computer science professor and security expert.
    • Security: djbdns is designed with a focus on security, employing multiple features to resist attacks and prevent DNS vulnerabilities.
    • Efficiency: The software is optimized for performance, utilizing various techniques to handle DNS requests quickly and efficiently.
    • Reliability: djbdns is known for its stability, ensuring reliable DNS resolution even under high loads and hostile conditions.
    • Simplicity: The software follows a simple design philosophy, making it easier to understand, configure, and maintain.
    • DNSSEC Support: djbdns incorporates DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) to provide secure DNS resolution.
  10. 10
    Yadifa is an open-source DNS server software that is designed to be fast and secure. It supports DNSSEC and can handle large volumes of traffic.
    Yadifa is an open-source DNS server software designed for high-performance and scalability. It is known for its robustness and flexibility, making it a popular choice among network administrators and service providers.
    • High Performance: Yadifa is capable of handling a high volume of DNS queries efficiently.
    • Scalability: The software is designed to scale easily, allowing for seamless growth as network requirements increase.
    • IPv6 Support: Yadifa fully supports IPv6, enabling smooth transitioning to the next generation of internet protocols.
    • DNSSEC Support: The software provides robust DNSSEC implementation, ensuring secure and authenticated DNS responses.
    • Zone Transfers: Yadifa supports both full and incremental zone transfers, enabling efficient synchronization of DNS data.

Missing your favorite software?


Ranking factors for popular software

  1. Performance
    The speed and efficiency of the DNS server software in handling DNS requests are crucial factors to assess its popularity. Higher performance would result in faster DNS resolution and better overall user experience.
  2. Security
    Security features, such as DNSSEC support, protection against DDoS attacks, and other security mechanisms, are essential to ensure the safety and integrity of DNS data.
  3. Stability and Reliability
    A popular DNS server software should be stable and reliable, with minimal downtime and smooth performance under high load and traffic conditions.
  4. Scalability
    The ability of the DNS server software to handle increasing workloads and growing infrastructure is an important factor to consider. Scalable software can adapt to the needs of businesses and networks of different sizes.
  5. Ease of Configuration and Management
    User-friendly interfaces, comprehensive documentation, and robust management tools make it easier for administrators to configure and manage the DNS server software, contributing to its popularity.
  6. Platform Compatibility
    The software should be compatible with various operating systems and platforms, making it easier for organizations to use it in diverse environments.
  7. Extensibility and Customization
    The ability to extend or customize the DNS server software with additional features, modules, or plugins is an important factor to consider.
  8. Technical Support and Community
    Robust technical support and an active user community can help resolve issues, exchange ideas, and improve the software's performance and features.
  9. Licensing and Pricing
    The licensing terms and pricing models of the DNS server software should be reasonable, flexible, and suitable for different types of organizations and networks.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular DNS server software. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or program is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 153 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each program once every 24 hours. The rank of each program is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular dns server software

When you enter a website's URL into your browser, your computer needs to know the IP address of the server that hosts that website. This is where Domain Name System (DNS) servers come in. DNS servers act as a directory that translates domain names (like into IP addresses (like that your computer can understand. There are a variety of DNS server software options available, each with its own unique features and performance capabilities. Some of the most popular DNS server software options include BIND, PowerDNS, Unbound, and dnsmasq. Different software options may be better suited for different types of websites, depending on factors like traffic volume and security needs. Ultimately, the most popular DNS server software will depend on a variety of factors, including user preferences and industry trends. However, by understanding the basics of DNS server software and the options available, you can make an informed decision about which software is right for your needs.

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