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 Domain NameServers / DNS are covered in this section of our Frequently Asked Question (FAQs).


Domain NameServers / DNS

What are Domain NameServers (DNS)?

Your DNS or Domain NameServers allows your web site to be displayed when someone uses your domain name in a web browser.

Domain NameServers (DNS) are the Internet's equivalent to a phone book. Domain NameServers (DNS) maintain a directory of domain names that match certain IP addresses (computers). The information from all the Domain NameServers (DNS) across the Internet is gathered in a central registry.

This makes it possible for people across the Internet to access your web site using a familiar domain name, instead of having to remember a series of numbers

It usually takes about 4-8 hours for .com and .net domains and about 24-48 hours for all other domain extensions before Domain NameServers (DNS) on other networks are able to access the information after the central registry gets it. This period is referred to as the propagation period.

What is a zone file?

A zone is another name for a domain name or a sub-domain in a Domain NameServer. Every domain and sub-domain has a zone. These zone files contain records, in plain text, which hold the information that links a domain or sub-domain name to an IP address. Each zone file usually contains several different records.

The difference between zones and domains is hierarchy. A domain can have a sub-domain contained within its hierarchal structure. While that sub-domain also has a zone, it’s not considered a sub-zone. There is no such thing as a sub-zone. All zones are a separate entity. While zones can be linked, they do not have a hierarchal structure.

What is a zone record?

Zone records contain DNS information about a domain or sub-domain and are contained within your zone file. The most common records contained in a zone file are start of authority (SOA), domain nameservers, mail exchanger, host and CNAME.

What is a Start of Authority (SOA) record?

The SOA record is required for every zone file. This record contains caching information, the zone administrator’s email address and the master domain nameserver for the zone. The SOA also contains a number that is incremented every time the zone file is updated. When this number is changed, it triggers the Domain NameServers (DNS) to reload the zone data.

What is an A record?

An A record, also called a host record, is the record in your zone file that connects your domain name to your IP address. This allows a user to type in your domain name and access your Web files on the Internet. A records are the most common type of zone record.

What is a Canonical Name (CNAME) record?

A CNAME is simply an alias for a host record. CNAMEs allow you to have more than one DNS name for a host record.

CNAME records point back to the A record. So if you change your IP address in your A record, all your CNAME records will automatically follow the new IP of the A record. The alternative solution is to have multiple A records, but then you would have multiple places to change the IP address which increases the chances of error. Using CNAMEs is just more efficient. The most common CNAMEs are www and ftp.

What is a Mail Exchanger (MX) record?

The MX record provides the mail server information for that zone. This allows email to be delivered to the correct location.

How do I modify the Domain NameServers (DNS) for a domain name?

If you bought your domain name through us, you can modify your Domain NameServers (DNS) by logging in at the domain name registration home page.

To Modify Your Domain NameServers (DNS) in the Account Manager:

  1. Log at  the domain name registration home page.

  2. Under the Domain Names section, select Manage Domains.

  3. Select the domain name you want to modify using the check boxes.

  4. Click Set NameServers.

  5. On the right-side of the page, you can modify your domain nameserver information.

  6. Click Save Changes.

NOTE: Allow up to 48 hours for DNS propagation. Propagation is the process in which the Domain NameServers (DNS) information in our database is passed to the 13 international root nameservers and then on to millions of ISP's, routers, and DNS cache engines all of which will update their own DNS tables with the new information whenever they choose to update. As you can see, propagation is not controlled by any one company. Please wait about 48 ours for propagation.

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