This article provides guidance on the following processes and questions, related to nameservers (DNS):
- How to: Change Nameservers (DNS)
- How to: Manage Nameservers Using Your Domain
- What are Propagation Delays?
- Why do Nameservers Appear in Different Order at the Registry?
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is like a big phone book that allows your computer to look up the IP address of other computers (usually web servers). When you type the address "www.google.com" into your web browser, your computer uses DNS servers to look up the IP address of the google web server. Once it has the IP address, your web browser can contact our server and ask for the web page.
What are name servers?
Name servers lets the rest of the world know where to go when they are looking for your website or deliver an email to your domain. Each domain usually has two name servers. Some domains may have eight or more. Name servers look like:
Name servers holds DNS records for domains. The DNS records specify exactly where the a web site resides by using A records or CNAME records. The DNS records can also contain a MX record which specifies the email service for the domain.
Enom provides free name servers to use for domains managed by Enom. Alternatively, you can pay a third party to use their name servers. Some web hosting provider might want you to use their name servers instead of Enom's. In that case, you can change your name servers to them. If you have email service for the domain, make sure the name servers you are switching to knows about the MX record for the email service.
Suppose someone wants visit the website acmeinc.biz. Their computer would use the Domain Name System to look up which registrar acmeinc.biz is registered under. If it's registered under Enom, it would ask Enom which name servers are the correct name servers for this domain. Then it would ask the name servers where to go for the website. The name server looks at the DNS records it has stored. One of the DNS record will say which server is responsible for displaying the content of the website. The visitor's computer then retrieve text and images for the website from that server.
While a domain is in registered status, you can change its assigned nameservers. To do so:
- Locate the domain you want to manage.
- Click DNS Server Settings, or on the Manage Domain menu, click DNS Server Settings.
- In DNS Server Settings, first choose either Our Servers or Custom.
a. Choose Our Servers to use our nameservers. While using our nameservers, you to control your host records from your account with us.
b. Choose Custom to enter other nameservers.
How to: Manage Nameservers Using Your Domain
Managing nameservers based on of your registered domains has a couple of prerequisites is done via the Register a Nameserver page. To reach it:
- Sign into your account.
- At the top of the site, on the Domains menu, click Advanced Tools. Next, click Register a Name Server.
Here, you can manage your nameservers, by registering new ones, and modify existing registrations. Occasionally, they can also be deleted.
Before you can use a nameserver based on your registered domains, you must inform the registry of its name and IP, by registering it. To do so:
- On the Register a Name Server page, locate the section labeled Register a new Name Server.
- Enter the new nameserver's name, and then IP, into the fields.
- Click the button Register Name Server.
You can check the status of an existing nameserver for one of your domains, using the below two steps:
- On the Register a Name Server page, locate the section labeled Check the status of a Name Server.
- Enter the nameserver's name and click the button Check Name Server.
Only a few TLDs, such as .COM and .NET , will return the IP address as part of a status check.
Updating the IP address of an existing nameserver for one of your domains requires its name, the current IP, and new IP. If you have all of this information, you follow the below steps to make the update:
- On the Register a Name Server page, locate the section labeled Update a Name Server.
- Enter the nameserver's name, current IP, and new IP into the fields provided.
- Click the Update Name Server button.
Where allowed by the registry, you can delete nameservers based on on of your domains via the below two steps:
- On the Register a Name Server page, locate the section labeled Delete a Name Server.
- Enter the nameserver's name, then click the Delete Name Server button.
Please be aware that most registries don't allow deleting a nameserver which is currently, or recently assigned to any domains. This means nameserver deletion does not commonly succeed. Feel free to still take your nameserver out of operation, even if you can't delete it at the registry. When out of operation long enough, registries will typically remove nameservers on their own.
For efficiency, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) store nameserver and host record information in a DNS cache, and update that cache only every so often. A propagation delay is time between when a change is made to a domain's nameservers, and your local ISP next updates its DNS cache, thereby allowing to you see the change's effects.
Enom's guideline for how often we'd like others to refresh their DNS cache for our records, is set to hourly. Whether or not such guidelines are followed by ISPs is strictly voluntary.
Please allow time for propagation to complete after changing the assigned nameservers, or changing host records for a domain. Until propagation is complete, you will not be able to see the effects of those changes.
Propagation can take up to 48 hours, world-wide. The rate depends on your ISP. This is a true case of "up to", meaning it can finish in seconds, minutes, hours, or days.
When nameservers are listed, that order is not involved in how they work.
In the Domain Name System, sets of nameservers are inherently not ordered. Due to this, there's no predictable order to how nameservers are queried. DNS queries can also be answered by any of the nameservers assigned to a domain. Their order is of no relevance.