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The DNS (Domain Name System or Service) is an Internet service that translates domain names (which are easier for humans to remember) into IP addresses (which computer use to address each other). Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.alertfox.com might translate to 188.8.131.52.
The DNS sensor sends a request to resolve a specific domain name to an IP address to the server it is associated with. It measures the time it needs to resolve the IP address. It reports an error if this time is greater than the timeout value you specified or if it does not work at all. Typically a DNS query should take less than 1-2 seconds.