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Is it better (for efficiency) to use an IP address when setting a custom name server for my domain name rather than a domain like

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I can't figure out how this question could make sense. In what case do you have to choose between using a domain name or using an IP address? – David Schwartz Mar 13 '12 at 2:28
This question is very vague; use IP address where? In general, using an IP address is best for daemons and servers in general. – Mei Mar 13 '12 at 2:29
Apologies for the vagueness--my understanding of how this works is limited. I have a domain registered with a company other than where my web site is being hosted, and thus need to point the domain to my web host. – devios Mar 13 '12 at 2:40

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

When you specify a name server, you need to provide an NS record. NS records always point to a name. See Can the value for a NS record be an IP address?

$ host -t NS name server name server name server name server

Whatever hosts you list as your name servers must also resolve to an IP.

$ host has address

Thus, if you're using an interface that is asking you to enter a name server's address, enter a DNS name.

Also, don't sweat the round-trip-time to find that A record -- the referring server also keeps the A record as "glue". That's why you usually also have to enter the IP address. When looking up the NS record, we get that additional data as well. With my registrar, I must first define a nameserver's name and IP combination before I can register the nameserver to the domain.

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3-P3 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 30818
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 3, ADDITIONAL: 3
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;           IN      A

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:    172800  IN      NS    172800  IN      NS    172800  IN      NS

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:        172800  IN      A        172800  IN      A        172800  IN      A

;; Query time: 151 msec
;; WHEN: Mon Mar 12 22:37:41 2012
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 135
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I could have sworn I've been able to add IP addresses into the name server settings for a domain before. Oddly enough my registrar has two apparent ways to set this: one under "name servers" and the other under NS record of DNS. How are these different? – devios Mar 13 '12 at 2:37
@chaiguy Gave you some updates on glue records... it is very likely that you did have to add addresses when specifying name servers. – Jeff Ferland Mar 13 '12 at 2:43
I think I get it, cheers :) – devios Mar 13 '12 at 2:47

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