DNS

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Overview

DNS, or Domain Name Service, provides various records that are looked up and used to make the internet work. Your site will have a variety of DNS records for the multiple services setup for your domain. The details in this article provide information regarding some of the records that are applied to your domain.

DreamHost DNS

You can review all of the DNS records that are setup for any site you host at DreamHost by clicking on the DNS link under the domain name on the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page:

001 non editable records.fw.png

This information is very handy if your domain points to non-DreamHost nameservers and you need to setup any or all of these records manually to point to DreamHost hosted services.

If you are using DreamHost hosting services (including parking or a redirect of the site), and your domain is registered with DreamHost, you should use these name servers:

  • ns1.dreamhost.com 66.33.206.206
  • ns2.dreamhost.com 208.97.182.10
  • ns3.dreamhost.com 66.33.216.216

As long as the nameservers are pointing to DreamHost, the records on your domain’s DNS page will be applied to your domain. Additionally, you can have your domain’s nameservers pointing to DreamHost, but point your domain’s A records to another web host so that the site is being hosted elsewhere. You can also create custom DNS entries on the ‘DNS’ page for your domain.

View the following wiki for more information on Custom DNS instructions:

You’ll notice that there are numerous non-editable DNS records on your domain’s DNS page.

If you need to modify the A record, "www", or "ftp" records for your domain, you will need to remove the web hosting with us from that domain, so the domain is not pointing to two different records. To remove our hosting (which removes our non-editable records), click the Remove button to the right of your domain:

002 Remove hosting.fw.png

If you do not remove our hosting when adding your custom A records, a DNS conflict will occur as the domain will then point to two locations and will not respond properly.

Note2 icon.png Notes:
  • When you remove the web hosting, it will take some time before the change is reflected in the DNS records.
  • You can force the refresh, but you can only force a refresh once every 12 hours.
  • A typical DNS change will take up to 6 hours to resolve. Changes to the nameservers, however, will take longer. This will often resolve within 3 to 72 hours.


Non-DreamHost DNS

You can manage your domain registration at any registrar and point your domain’s hosting to DreamHost. If your domain is using outside nameservers, you will need to configure some custom DNS settings where your nameservers are currently pointing.

DreamHost recommends making the following custom DNS configurations:

  • Make an "A" type record to point to the A record with us. You can find the information required for your domains in your panel under (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’).
  • Click the DNS link under the domain name you want to redirect from the non-DreamHost provider. The "A" type record found there (displayed as an IPv4 address) should be copied into the DNS settings of the non-DreamHost provider.
Note2 icon.png Note: You will need to contact the non-DreamHost DNS provider for specific instructions on setting those records up with them.


The screenshot in the first section shows the section on the ‘DNS’ page for your domain where you can find the records that are set up for your domain with DreamHost.

The details for each column consist of the DNS record set up for your domain:

Record
Shows the service for this record. For example, if you have a record for the ‘www’ service, the ‘www’ name will be listed under this column.
Type
Shows the record type. For the ‘www’ hosting service, you will see ‘A’ here as it would be set up as an ‘A’ record for that service.
Value
Shows the value for that record. You will see a different value here depending on the type of record that’s setup; for the ‘www’ record, this column will show an IP address to point the ‘www’ record to so that it’s hosted with DreamHost.

Basic DNS Records

See also: List of DNS record types on Wikipedia

This section outlines the various types of records that are setup for a domain and what they are for. These records can be configured through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page by clicking the ‘DNS’ link under the domain name.

This is the ‘Address’ record (A record) to forward the hostname to an IPv4 address.
AAAA 
This is the IPv6 address record. You can use this to forward the mapping of the hostname to an IPv6 address.
PTR 
Also called a “pointer record”. This is used for the reverse mapping of an IP address to a hostname. Dreamhost currently only supports reverse DNS records when a unique IP is added to a domain.
Note2 icon.png Note: Please note that a Unique IP address cannot be used to resolve mail blocking issues on shared email hosting.


You can read more about Unique IPs here:
MX 
Also known as ‘mail exchange’ records, which show you the host record the domain is pointing to for mail hosting.
CNAME 
The “canonical name record” or CNAME record points one domain name to another domain name.
TXT 
The text records are free-form text strings, used for things like SPF and DKIM signing for mail services.
For further information regarding SPF and DKIM, please see the following wiki articles:
SRV 
"Service locator" records advertise a specific service that a server offers.
NS 
These “nameserver records” delegate a domain or subdomain to another DNS server.
Note2 icon.png Note: You can find further information regarding IP addresses and the two types that are used in the following wiki aricle:


Additional details

Below are some additional details regarding DNS records:

  • MX records consist of two parts: the priority and the domain name. For example:
    0 mail.MYDOMAIN.com
    The ‘0’ is the priority.
    The lower the number means a higher priority.
    The ‘mail.MYDOMAIN.com’ is the mail server to which it connects.
    Outgoing email servers connect to the MX servers in order of priority.
    If two servers have the same priority, it picks one at random. (This in effect load balances the connections.)
  • When looking up an A record, you may get a CNAME record in response, for example:
    dig www.cloudflare.com
    www.cloudflare.com. 	260 	IN  	CNAME   www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net.
    www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net. 260 IN A 198.41.215.163
    www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net. 260 IN A 198.41.214.163
    
    You can lookup the A record of that CNAME record. You will either be presented with yet another CNAME record or an A record.
    In situations where you cannot control the IP address of your server, such as a home user who receives an IP address from their ISP, dynamic DNS may be used to keep the domain name properly updated. You can find further information about dynamic DNS in the following wiki:
    Dynamic DNS

See Also

Below are some helpful links to outside sources that provide you with further details on various topics discussed on this page. The ‘Test your DNS’ page below provides a tool which is especially helpful in looking up your domain’s DNS records.

You can also review information in the following wikis: