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I just bought a domain through a domain service and they give me the following options for editing DNS records:

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I'm trying to set up branded bit.ly forwarding on the domain, which asks me to set my DNS A record to point to a specific IP address.

Since I don't have an option to change my DNS A record, what do I do? (Or is DNS A the same as primary/secondary nameserver?)

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That panel is asking you to provide the IP addresses of your DNS SERVERS, which are going to manage the domain you registered; as it appears, you only bought a domain, not a DNS service to actually manage it.

You will need to configure your A records (and/or any record at all) for your domain inside your DNS server(s). But before doing that, you'll need to actually have one or more DNS servers to manage it.

If all of this doesn't mean much to you, then you should use a hosting provider which provides both services: domain registration and DNS; as it appears now, you only got the former and you are lacking the latter.

  • Thank you. It makes sense Do you by chance have a recommendation for a DNS server service? – Daniel Jan 29 '16 at 0:08
  • Usually, domain registration and DNS are offered together by the same provider; almost every provider offers both by default, while allowing the option to decouple them if you want finer control. Have you tried asking your provider? – Massimo Jan 29 '16 at 0:14
  • I bought the domain from Tonic.to, which is some tiny place in the country of Tonga. I have about 10 domains with iwantmyname.com, but the ".to" domain I purchased was $50 more from them. Also, they don't offer standalone DNS servers, apparently. It looks like there are some free options (like afraid.org), but I'm wary of a free option for speed/uptime reasons. – Daniel Jan 29 '16 at 0:20
  • I've had nothing but great success with Dyn (dyn.com/standard-dns). – Matt Hanson Jan 29 '16 at 2:04

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