Article overview

Help article

DNS and nameservers

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It allows you to configure the website and e-mail settings for your domain name. There are several types of DNS settings you can use for this. In this article we will explain how DNS works and what the different types of DNS settings (records) are used for.


Nameservers

Before going into the details of DNS, it is important to know what the nameservers of a domain name do. The DNS records you configure are saved in the nameservers of your domain name.

When you enter a domain name in the address bar of your browser, a request is made to the nameservers of that domain name. The nameservers tell the browser which IP-address is set in the corresponding DNS record.


TransIP nameservers

When you register a domain name, it will use the TransIP nameservers by default. When a domain name uses our nameservers, this means the DNS records in your control panel will be active.


External nameservers

It is also possible to use other nameservers, for instance when your website is hosted at a different provider. Some providers will ask you to use their nameservers in order to use their services.

Take note: When using other nameservers than the TransIP nameservers, the DNS settings in your control panel will no longer be active. The DNS will then be managed by the administrator of the nameservers you're using.

You can manage your nameservers in your control panel. From here, click on the tab 'Domains & Hosting' at the top of the page. Next, click on the domain on the left hand side (don't check the box).

Scroll down to 'Nameservers' to see which nameservers the domain is currently using. Click on 'Enable advanced settings' if you don't see 'Nameservers' yet.

Example of nameservers in the control panel

The image above shows that the TransIP nameservers are configured for our domain name. If you wish to use other nameservers, make sure to remove the TransIP nameservers and add your own afterwards. Click on 'Save' to save the changes.

If you wish to restore the TransIP nameservers, follow these steps.

  • Next to 'Nameservers', click on 'Bulk options'.
  • Next to 'Copy from', select 'TransIP default nameserver settings'
  • Click on 'Save' to save the TransIP nameservers.

DNS

In order to link your domain name to a specific website or e-mail server, it is important to set your DNS records. In your control panel you are free to configure DNS records and Nameservers.

Visit the control panel and click on the tab 'Domains & Hosting'. Next, click on the domain name on the left hand side (don't check the box) and scroll down to 'DNS' and 'Nameservers'. If you don't see these options yet, click on 'Enable Advanced Settings'.

When looking at the DNS records of your domain name for the first time, you will see 6 DNS records that have been set by default. Next to the A and AAAA records you will see 2 IP-addresses. These 2 records will cause visitiors of your domain to see our 'Reserved' page. The other 4 records are set for your convenience.

The default DNS settings

Please note that, if you want to change the IP-addresses in the image above to those of another hosting provider, make sure you alter the AAAA record as well. If the hosting provider does not provide an AAAA record, make sure you delete the existing AAAA record by pressing the 'X' next to it.


 

The different types of DNS records

You can set the following DNS records in your control panel.

  • A-record: This record is used to link your (sub)domain to an IPv4 address.
  • AAAA-record: This record is used to link your (sub)domain to an IPv6 address. Note that AAAA records take priority over A records.
  • CNAME-Record: This record is used to link a subdomain to another (sub)domain.
  • MX-Record: This record is used to deliver e-mail to a mailserver for the specified (sub)domain.
  • TXT-Record: This record is used to add readable text in DNS records. It is mostly used to configure SPF and DKIM records.
  • SPF-Record: This record is used to tell which IP-address or hostname is authorized to send e-mail from your domain name.
  • DKIM-Record: This record is used to validate the sender of e-mails.
  • NS-Record: This record is used to set a nameserver for a specific subdomain.
  • SRV-Record: This record is used to specify the location of a service on the specified (sub)domain.
  • CAA-Record: This record is used to specify the 'Certificate Authority' that is allowed to issue an SSL Certificate for your (sub)domain.

 

A DNS record consists of the following components

  • Name: With the name of a DNS record you can indicate if you want to use the record for your 'naked' domain name (yourdomain.com) or a subdomain (www.yourdomain.com).
Tips for configuring the name of DNS records
  • When setting the name for your 'naked' domain name, use in stead of the actual domain name (yourdomain.com).
  • When setting the name for a subdomain, enter just the subdomain. For instance, if you want to configure www.yourdomain.com, you only have to enter www as the name.
  • You can also use a Wildcard record to configure all the subdomains you have not already configured. You can set a Wildcard record by entering an * as the name of the record.
  • TTL: Here you can state how long the DNS record is saved in the cache.
     
  • Type: With type you can indicate which type of DNS record you wish to use (such as A, AAAA, CNAME etc.)
     
  • Value: This is where you enter the value of the DNS record. The value you enter depends on the type you're using.
Tips for configuring the value of DNS records
  • Enter a @ for the value of your MX or CNAME record, if you wish to point it to your root domain.
     
  • When pointing an MX or CNAME record to a sub domain, enter just the sub domain as the value.

    For instance, your domain name is example.com and you wish to enter mail.example.com as the value. In this case you just enter mail in the value field. Our DNS software will autocomplete it to mail.example.com.
     
  • When pointing an MX or CNAME record to a sub domain or domain name that is not part of your current domain name, make sure to enter the full (sub) domain name and end it with a dot.

    For instance, your domain name is example.com and you wish to enter mail.differentdomain.com as a value. You actually enter mail.differentdomain.com. as a value, including the dot at the end.

Take note that DNS changes will take up to 24 hours before they are effective. This is something we cannot affect, but you will usually see the changes long before that time period.

In this article we covered how to set up DNS records in your control panel. If you have any questions regarding this article, please use the button 'Contact us' at the bottom of this page.

If you wish to discuss this article with other users, leave a comment in the 'Comment' section below.

Do you have a good idea?

Give us your idea! If it's popular we'll add it to the wishlist!

Has this article been helpful?

Create an account or log in to leave a rating.

Comments

Create an account or log in to be able to leave a comment.

Are you stuck?

Ask one of our specialists to assist you

Contact us