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Our users are primarily in the UK.

We already have the sites hosted on a sever in the UK.

Would there be any latency benefits in having the DNS name servers located in the UK as well?

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    Mitigating DNS latency by reducing proximity to your target audience is beneficial, but if your target audience is global, you're best using a DNS provider that uses a global network, such as CDN's use (some are free too). – dan May 20 '16 at 8:40
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Latency Benefits?

Short Answer: Minuscule benefit, if you have big enough TTL.

Long Answer: To understand it, you need to understand how DNS works and terms like DNS caching, TTL (time to live).

On very basic level, DNS converts domain name to an IP address. While setting A-record (or other records), we also set TTL (time to live) which is the caching duration for the Domain-IP mapping at various ISPs around the web.

Now, let's say, you have your DNS server in US. When the very first user fetches your website from UK, the ISP in UK will have to go to DNS server in US to find out your IP and then it will cache it for say 24hrs (if your TTL is 24hrs). All other users, will be directed to your IP based on this entry for next 24hrs. After 24hrs, the same cycle continues.

So, it basically depends on your TTL. If your TTL is very small (say 1 min), then it may cause a latency for atleast 1 user every minute. If TTL is 24hrs, then latency would be only for 1 user per 24hrs.

Note: I have taken a simplistic view of DNS to explain it.

  • Perfectly explained Aakash, thank you. As the DNS entry for the domain will be cached within the UK for the most part, we’ll go ahead and use our current name servers in the US. We just need to make sure the TTL for the domain is properly set. Thank you. – camursm May 20 '16 at 9:59
  • I answered only about UK-US latency. There might be other reasons for changing to better DNS provider such as uptime, response time etc. Many good global DNS nowadays are either free or very cheap so you may still move to a global DNS. – Aakash May 20 '16 at 10:13
  • Minor clarification - by "All other users" you mean "All other users from that ISP". There are a lot of ISPs. – Tim Fountain May 20 '16 at 10:14
  • Well, not exactly, the right answer might be "All other users from all the ISPs connected to the same trans-atlantic cable". But that might also not be true as the servers at the end of all trans-atlantic cables in UK might be talking to each other. – Aakash May 20 '16 at 10:41

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