Why is “Non-authoritative answer” given by nslookup? DNS Explained

Why is “Non-authoritative answer” given by nslookup? DNS Explained

artistic floating globe

Have you ever executed the nslookup command and been notified that the result was “Non-authoritative”? If you’re like many people, you’ve probably seen this message a lot but never really understood what it meant. Those who are unfamiliar with working with DNS servers may find this to be a complicated and misunderstood subject.

But for anybody dealing with DNS, being aware of the distinction between authoritative and non-authoritative replies is crucial since it can impact the authenticity and dependability of the information you get. What does “Non-authoritative response” actually imply, and why is it crucial to understand?

We’ll explore the definition of “Non-authoritative response” and how it applies to the nslookup utility in this blog article. We’ll also go over the distinction between authoritative and non-authoritative responses and how you can utilize this information to make sure you’re efficiently working with DNS and obtaining the most current and correct information.


“Non-authoritative answer” is the expected output from nslookup in 99.9% of cases, so this warning can be safely ignored. Your ISP’s DNS server is what your computer (and nslookup) uses to get answers to DNS queries. Every website and domain has different authoritative DNS servers, and your ISP’s DNS server queries these authoritative DNS servers on your behalf. Because you got the answer indirectly via your ISP’s DNS server, nslookup tells you the answer is not authoritative.

What is “Non-authoritative answer”?

When using the nslookup utility to query Domain Name System (DNS) servers, you could see the message “Non-authoritative answer.” This tells you that the DNS server you’re asking can’t ensure that it has the official, up-to-date information for the domain name or IP address you’re seeking up and is instead giving you a cached response that it got from another DNS server.

How nslookup and DNS Queries Work:

You can query DNS servers using the command-line utility nslookup to learn more about domain names and IP addresses. A DNS server will provide either an authoritative answer or a non-authoritative answer in response to a nslookup query. An authoritative response is one that originates directly from the DNS server in charge of the questioned domain name or IP address. It represents the most authentic, up-to-date, and correct data for that domain name or IP address that is currently accessible.

The nameserver configured for use by a typical PC is almost never the authoritative nameserver for any specific domain name. This means that when a user’s computer sends this nameserver a DNS query, the nameserver will transmit the request to further DNS servers in order to identify the authoritative nameserver for the domain in question. In response, the authoritative nameserver will offer an authoritative response, which will then be forwarded via the network of DNS servers until it reaches the user’s machine.

The Importance of Obtaining Authoritative Answers:

Therefore, it is common to receive a “Non-authoritative answer” when using nslookup or other DNS query tools, as the nameserver being queried is typically not the authoritative nameserver for the domain in question. However, this does not necessarily mean that the information contained in the response is Because the nameserver being requested is frequently not the authoritative nameserver for the domain in question, it is expected to get a “Non-authoritative result” when using nslookup or other DNS query tools. This does not necessarily imply that the data provided in the response is false or outdated, though. Instead, it only indicates that a nameserver that is not directly in charge of looking after the domain’s DNS records has provided the information. If you directly contact the DNS server in charge of managing DNS for that particular domain name, you should expect to receive an “authoritative answer”. Because your own computer would rarely directly contact the authoritative nameserver, this result is very uncommon, and  You will nearly always get a “Non-authoritative answer,” — this is totally normal and expected.

Do you love servers?

We do! Whether you’re looking for a server for your business, website, or other online project, IOFLOOD has the expertise and resources to help you succeed. You can get in touch with us at sales[at]IOFLOOD.com or browse our available servers at https://ioflood.com.