I have my website set up as an EC2 instance and my DNS is currently Godaddy. I'm considering switching to Amazon AWS Route53 for DNS.

The one thing I noticed however is that Route53 charges monthly fees but I never get any bills from Godaddy. Obviously, nobody likes getting charged for something they can get for free.

If Godaddy is cheaper, can anyone confirm that the page load speed of an EC2 instance is actually better via Route53 vs. Godaddy? If it is not faster or cheaper, can someone point out other reasons it might make sense to do this switch?

thanks, tim

  • What do you mean by "for DNS"? Do you mean to resolve the world's domains for you? Or do you mean to resolve your domains for the world? – David Schwartz Jul 11 '12 at 15:32
  • hi @DavidSchwartz, I mean to resolve my domains for the world – tim peterson Jul 11 '12 at 17:57

Short answer - If you don't know reasons yourself, you probably don't need to switch - just stick with whatever you use.

Route53 may be more reliable, may be faster, have some features that help integrate it with other AWS services, but you don't need any of it. If you care about the difference between 99.9 and 99.7, or if you care about 100ms vs 150ms, maybe it makes sense to start compare DNS services.

Btw, GoDaddy also offers premium DNS, paid monthly. And also there are many various DNS providers with prices ranging from free to hundreds dollars monthly.

Some of things to consider when choosing DNS provider: real uptime, uptime SLA, responce time (around the world - wherether your visitors reside, and around the clock), limits - like amount of queries or number of records or minimum TTL, price, features like DNSSEC, IPv6, dynamic DNS, account security fetures, supported record types, geo-DNS or load-balancing/failover, API etc.etc. - just look at specs of various DNS providers and you will see what features may be different.

Again, it's all small details. When you drive for a rally or operate twitter.com you double-check every detail. But if you just drive to your office and back, you aren't ought to know whether your engine is direct-injection or carburetor.

  • hi @Sandman4, thanks for the clarifications, that's exactly what I was looking for. I'll stick with GoDaddy. – tim peterson Jul 11 '12 at 18:49
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    While writing this, I ran dig a couple of times (from my home in Israel) - www.amazon.com uses amazon own servers (probably route 53), and resolved in 300ms, but "amazon.com" naked domain itself - hosted on Dyn.com :) and resolves in 80ms. godaddy.com took 600ms, while www.godaddy.com took 1000ms because of sorta stupid CNAME. (Which makes me feel more confident with my net-me.net which answered in ~250ms) – Sandman4 Jul 11 '12 at 19:01
  • hi @Sandman4, thanks for this analysis. I've never heard of dig. Would you mind sharing the commands you ran to display these millisecond times for each domain? is it just dig www.amazon.com? I ran that from the shell and that worked for me, it said, Query time: 119 msec. – tim peterson Jul 11 '12 at 20:39
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    That's not an analysis. It's just one datapoint which by itself have negligible significance. To understand how some service really performs, much more efforts required. – Sandman4 Jul 11 '12 at 21:19
  • The command is indeed simple dig. Results in my location will vary from result in your location and vary from result of your neighbor who happens to use another ISP. And will vary from result of your neighbor who uses Google DNS or OpenDNS or ISP's DNS or have his own resolver. And if you repeat the same query twice you may have much faster result second time. etc.etc. – Sandman4 Jul 11 '12 at 21:23

I really wouldn't recommend hosting DNS with Godaddy if you depend on having your site available 99.99% of the time. Godaddy has pretty much the worst uptime around

Godady has an uptime of 99.966 http://uptime.besthostratings.com/viewreport.php?host=GoDaddy

Compared to Amazon Route 53, which has an uptime of 99.9978 http://blog.cloudharmony.com/2012/08/comparison-and-analysis-of-managed-dns.html

On occasion Godaddy had an outage that cost one website an estimated $50,000 in lost sales. This outage may have also been the result of an attack by anonymous, or a network equipment failure. www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/godaddy-outage-anonymous-attack-or-it-fa/240007167

Godaddy's DNS has also been the target of many blocks, particularly in China. www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1160554

There are a couple DNS providers that are probably ever so slightly better than Route53, but Amazon's service is the most affordable by far.

  • unfortunately my rep is too low to make the last 3 links actually show up as links. Sorry about that. – Milo Sep 19 '13 at 7:16
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    Looks like a typo in the GoDaddy stats, I see "GoDaddy Uptime Report - 99.956%". You currently have 99.56. Other than that I agree, trusting AWS over GoDaddy is sensible. – Drew Khoury Sep 19 '13 at 9:56

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