Vanity name server (DNS branding) – Why use it?

Vanity name server (DNS branding)

Did you know that there is a DNS service that allows you to put your custom DNS branding on the name servers the DNS provider offers? With DNS branding, you can put the name of a domain you own instead of the names that come by default, like ns1.DNSprovider.com, and be changed to ns1.YourDomain.com.

Why would you want to use Vanity name server? 

What is a Vanity name server (DNS Branding)?

DNS Branding offers vanity name servers that are name servers that you can put a custom name on them instead of the DNS provider’s default name. You can put your own domain name, hide the DNS provider, and have a better brand image. 

See the following example of Vanity name servers, so you get the idea better:

BeforeAfter
ns1.DNSProvider.com ns1.YourDomain.com
ns2.DNSProvider.comns2.YourDomain.com

DNS Vanity name servers are actually a mask on top of the DNS provider.

Anycast DNS vs Unicast DNS

Why use Vanity name server?

Because using Vanity name server will show the custom name, like ns1.YourDomain.com, when somebody is performing a Whois lookup or using any of the commands for testing NS DNS records. 

Another reason is that using this DNS branding is that you can hide which exactly is your DNS provider or public DNS server you are using, so nobody uses this information against you in any way.

White-label services. You can offer different network services and make a deal with a DNS provider, to offer their services through your plans, without mentioning their involvement and slapping your brand on top of the DNS service. That way, you can add more features and look like a truly feature-rich service provider. 

How can you set up a Vanity name server?

Configuring Vanity name servers takes a few simple steps, and it is very similar on most of the DNS providers:

First, go to your domain registrar site and log in. There we need to add Child Name Servers to your domain. Those servers you want to use like ns1.YourDomain.com, ns2.YourDomain.com, etc., and add the IP addresses according to the domain registrar.

Now, go to your DNS settings and add the same A records as the Child Name Servers for the DNS zone. You can do it for your Primary DNS zone or Secondary DNS zone. Both work.

After adding the A DNS records, the same way as the Child Name Servers, it is time to change the NS records (name server record) that you can find the DNS zone. Edit the existing ones, or delete them and add a new one. The content of them should look like YourDomain.com NS ns1.YourDomain.com, and so on for the rest of them.

Time to get back to the domain registrar settings. There, from the control panel, change the previous name servers with those you just created. You might need to wait up to 48 hours to update the DNS records on all the DNS resolvers.

Now you know what Vanity name servers are, what purpose do they have, and how to start using them, are you interested in using them?

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