I'm looking for a reliable free or cheap DNS service.

I've used FreeDNS at FreeDNS.Afraid.org in the past, but it doesn't always seem reliable... sometimes people say they can't access my website (sometimes I can't access it either) by domain name, and yet if I type in the IP address it works fine, so I assume it's some sort of DNS problem.

Are there any other cheap or free DNS services out there? I need something reliable that I can manage via a web interface (or scripts if they have an API) that I can use to manage the DNS for ~100 domain names.

EDIT: To be clear, I'm looking for DNS hosting, not DNS servers to use for my WAN connection.

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  • If you go with a free service, it's unlikely you'll get the best redundancy. If you're willing to part with cash, then you could look for a DNS host with IP anycast. By the way, the term you're looking for is "DNS hosting service". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNS_hosting_service – Nick Bolton Feb 23 '10 at 10:39
  • question now closed but for people who need a cheap and great DNS service check out zerigo.com i've been using them for a year now. – iainlbc Jul 28 '10 at 18:48

20 Answers 20

up vote 3 down vote accepted

DNSMadeEasy was what we looked to for this purpose. No API (AFAIK), but a simple, if somewhat ugly, web interface does everything I need (lots of RR types, reverse zones, etc...). $60/year for 10 million queries/month. Check them out!

  • 1
    I'll second the vote for DNSMadeEasy. Signed up when it was only $30 or so per year, and never looked back :) – Oscar Sep 23 '09 at 14:38
  • DNSMadeEasy does have an API. I've been pretty happy with them. Though their Web frontend is awful, their service is really reliable, and they're quite cheap. – user5336 Dec 11 '09 at 15:22
  • I've been using DNSMadeEasy for a while now, they have been great! – Keith Palmer Jr. Mar 24 '10 at 15:54

I've used zoneedit.com for 6 or 7 years now and never had any problem with them. I guess this should fit your definition of reliable whatever it is...

Their pricing system is the following:

You buy credits whenever you want (credits doesn't expire). Managing a DNS zone and using zoneedit.com dns for serving it for one year will cost you 1 credit by slice of 200Mb network traffic usage.

The more credits you buy, the less it costs:

  • 1 credit = $10.95
  • 10 credits = $49.95

You can have the details on their faq.

  • 1
    I have been Zoneedit for about the same time and they generally okay. But when they have an outage, there is no phone # to call or immediate support email either. If you use their free DNS, that's cool. Not cool is when you pay a few hundred $ a year for that... – tegbains Feb 10 '10 at 20:06

For a few years, I used EveryDNS for free DNS service. They encourage donations by removing the limits on the number of domains and records, but the defaults are quite generous. At the time, they only offered the basic records: A, CNAME, MX, NS.

I have since moved to using GoDaddy's DNS provided with my domain registrations, so I don't know if they've improved the service to include more record types.

  • I've been using EveryDNS for some time and the service is excellent. – Dscoduc Jan 21 '10 at 17:08
  • 1
    Looks like they have been subsumed by DynDNS – Zac Thompson Apr 4 '10 at 7:03

MyBind is a pet project of mine.

  • You can create unlimited zones and records for free;
  • You can edit the TTL for your zone and each record;
  • And, it has two geographically dispersed DNS servers.

MyBind zone editor

For around 100 domains you could run your own cheap primary server with all your DNS records and then get the Secondary DNS service from Gradwell.net to sync and serve?

By a cheap primary, a virtual server host would work fine.

While not cheap, I use easyDNS. It is $35/year per name. But they really do have worldwide name servers that don't go down. They have easy to use Web pages for control. You can control all you need to control. The $35/year is for registration and name server hosting. It is less for multi-year. Look at http://www.easydns.com.

  • I've used easyDNS myself for years now. They also allow you to do dynamic DNS on your zone if you need that as well. – Jeremy Bouse Mar 15 '10 at 16:19

I'm using dynDNS for my primary nameserver. They actually have a nice package for static DNS despite being known for dynamic DNS service.

It is not free, (~$24 if I recall) but it is cheap and good.

I have been using it for a production site for 3 years, and no issues with resolution or changing host records.

You may try Geoscaling

Here is what they say

GeoScaling offers both FREE and paid managed DNS services with unique features. Redirect your users by Country, AS number, uptime, server load and custom rules, at the DNS level. Standard Features

  • Redundancy and scalability assured by nameservers in three
    countries and two continents.
  • Easy to use web interface (Click here for a screenshot)
  • Add and edit DNS records without reloading the page
  • Changes propagate instantly to our nameservers
  • Low time-to-live (TTL) ensures updated records are propagated on the Internet in less than 5 minutes
  • IPv6 support - both IPv6 transport and the possibility to add
    AAAA records
  • Support for most types of records, including SRV

I've used ZoneEdit for years and been happy with their service. However, due to some recent hiccups, I decided to try out some alternatives.

I tried Afraid and found (using Pingdom's very nice service) that they were down (DNS requests failed) over 80% of the time. Their service was down for 4 minutes out of every 19. Weird.

So I spent a few months testing several DNS hosting companies that have a free option. It isn't definitive, but I tried all of these personally with my own domain.

These results only represent a recent snapshot of 8 days. Things can and often do change over time. But at least for this month, I would recommend Namecheap or ClouDNS. I think Namecheap was better, but I loved the UI at ClouDNS.

  1. Namecheap (avg response: 82 ms, std dev: 175 ms)
  2. ClouDNS (avg response: 93 ms, std dev: 319 ms)
  3. Moniker (avg response: 114 ms, std dev: 248 ms, free with domain registration)
  4. ZoneEdit (avg response: 91 ms, std dev: 280 ms)
  5. GeoScaling (avg response: 103 ms, std dev: 332 ms)
  6. XName (avg response: 117 ms, std dev: 325 ms)
  7. DNS Exit (avg response: 256 ms, std dev: 1025 ms)
  8. FreeDNS (avg response: 187 ms, std dev: 530 ms)
  9. Afraid (avg response: 223 ms, std dev: 1022 ms, over 20% downtime)

I have no affiliation with any of these services.

www.gratisdns.dk is free of charge and good. Their user interface isn't fully translated to English yet, so it may not be usable for you.

www.gandi.net is inexpensive and good. I've used them for years without problems. They have a real nicety, they have a spam filtering system. It allows you to publish a valid email address in DNS (whois), which forwards only spam-filtered emails to your real email address. They also allow you to edit the BIND config file directly, giving you full control over your DNS records, if you know BIND syntax.

I know it's a topic bumper but Namecheap.com started to offer free DNS service for any domain (even if it's registered elsewhere).

I used to use www.no-ip.com back in the day when i had dynamic IP's ... even comes with an app you install on your server to update the IP's automatically every so often

  • did i forget to mention its free ;) – Aceth Dec 11 '09 at 15:24
  • How is that relevant to the question that was asked? – John Gardeniers Dec 11 '09 at 21:34
  • because occasionally cost is a major factor :p – Aceth Jan 9 '10 at 15:34
  • I believe the OP is asking for a host with a web based zone editor, but this answer is for dynamic record updating which is a little different. – Nick Bolton Feb 23 '10 at 10:32

I recently switched from Zoneedit (since it feels like the service level has dropped a lot the last few years requiring purchase of extra name servers and what not to stay reliable) to Everydns.net and so far I couldn't be happier.

It's quick and easy and the "undocumented" ip key word feature makes it very useful for dynamic dns as well, enabling stuff like having both MX records and "www-less" records on the same dynamic domain that actually works. Donating even a small amount will unlock more records and domains and is a no-brainer so far.

I've had pretty good luck with everydns.net so far. I hardly ever change my DNS info, and I don't seem to have any trouble with them.

Hello i recommend you cloudns.net - free dns hosting. This dns provider have servers in Europe and America.

Has anyone tried Simple DNS server ?

Another free one: xname.org

We use http://www.nettica.com for $1/domain/year.

I myself use opendns.org for my DNS needs. You can use it without signing up, but you can also use it by signing up and when you do that it gives you filtering options, auto-correction for mistyped web addresses and it will also give you statistics based on monthly use.

  • The OP was looking for a DNS hoster for his domains, not a recursive name service. – bortzmeyer Sep 24 '09 at 7:46

I just started using OpenDNS.com. If you get an account and put in your network, you gain all kinds of web filtering options. You can add specific domains and even check a domain and find out what category it might fall into. It is very powerful and been a real help to me trying to reclaim bandwidth from the likes of YouTube and streaming music sites.

  • The OP was looking for a DNS hoster for his domains, not a recursive name service. – bortzmeyer Sep 24 '09 at 7:46

protected by sysadmin1138 Jun 9 '11 at 11:40

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