My VPS hosting provider has agreed that I can use their DNS servers to present a more professional look by giving out vanity nameservers to my clients.

For example, they have said I need a DNS records directing ns1.MyDomain.com to the IP of ns1.VPSProvider.com.

Therefore any DNS queries sent to ns1.MyDomain.com will then be sent to the IP for ns1.VPSProvider.com instead and they will respond

The domain is registered with 123-reg. Therefore, how/where do I add a dns record for ns1.MyDomain.com would it be with 123-reg's help? Is it just a CNAME record of ns1?

Secondly, are their any disadvantages by having a vanity nameserver like this e.g. spam, google, rdns etc

  • After a little research may it may require creating 2 A records for ns1 and ns2 for MyDomain.com pointing to VPSProvider.com nameserver IP Addresses. And then creating 2 NS records for ns1.MyDomain.com and ns2.MyDomain.com Would that be correct, could someone please confirm? – asn187 Jan 12 '10 at 14:31
  • Vanity domain names, I understand. But vanity name servers? Very few people look at the address bar, or know what a domain name is. But how many people fetch the NS records of a domain to see if you are "professional"? – bortzmeyer Jan 12 '10 at 14:47
  • If you have clients that you sell hosting too to go along with any website you have developed; would it not be far more professional to tell them to point their domain nameservers to ns1.MyDomain.com rather than ns1.SomeOtherHostingCompany.com? – asn187 Jan 12 '10 at 14:49
  • It is not professionnal, it is deceiving, since you do not really manage the name server. – bortzmeyer Jan 12 '10 at 14:51
  • If people are knowledgeable enough to use dig to fetch the NS records, they can certainly use whois to find "who you are hosting with"... – bortzmeyer Jan 12 '10 at 14:51

You need to create two A records pointing ns1.mydomain.com to the ip address of ns1.vpsprovider.com, and ns2.mydomain.com to the ip address of ns2.vpsprovider.com. CNAME entries add extra dns lookups, and should be avoided when creating nameservers (and infact break RFCs).

If you're using these vanity nameservers for your own domain and not just for other people's domains, then you'll also need to set the ns records for your domain to your own nameservers and the ip addresses of the nameservers provided. You'll want to do all this on your vps provider's nameservers rather than 123-reg's because you'll no longer be using 123-reg for anything other than domain registration.

There are no disadvantages in having a nameserver setup like this other than the fact that you then have to use the control panel of the vps provider to change your dns rather than the 123-reg control panel (though that may actually be an advantage).

I don't recall if 123-reg provide .uk nameservers or not. If they do, and your domain is a .uk domain, then there will be a small theoretical loss of speed by switching to a .com nameserver. However this won't be noticable.

  • @Kaerast - so I was on the correct path with my first comment? So whatever the nameserver entries are on 123-reg's side for MyDomain.com would be ignored once I have added the NS entries to the control panel of my VPSProvider.com? – asn187 Jan 12 '10 at 14:56
  • You'll need to set the nameservers and ip addresses of those nameservers in the 123-reg control panel. Once you have done that, the rest of the dns configuration is done at your vps provider. – WheresAlice Jan 12 '10 at 15:14
  • Thanks, 1 final thing so suppose the reason my change at 123-reg ("This is not a valid nameserver") is because the changes made to MyDomain.com have not propagated through. – asn187 Jan 12 '10 at 15:22
  • You need to add both the ip address and the name of the nameserver when using a nameserver on the same domain. You also need to make sure that the nameserver at the vps provider is ready to respond (try dig yourdomain.com @ns1.vpsprovider.com). Finally 123-reg sometimes just doesn't like you changing nameservers, so contact support if it's all otherwise working. – WheresAlice Jan 12 '10 at 15:44

You cannot use CNAME records since the right-hand side of a NS record cannot be an alias (RFC 1035, section 3.6.2).You have to use A and AAAA records and keep them in synch with VPSProvider.com. Not easy because they can change suddenly.

Frankly, if you do not know the DNS at all, it is better to not use "vanity name servers", specially for paying customers...

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