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The questions below are to help me understand the process; so your input will be greatly appreciated.

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

I buy a domain for a domain selling company, A.

Question 1: At this point does A 'register' my domain name with TLD administrator along with the nameservers for A?

Question 2: Is it true that TLD administrator (such as Verisign for .com TLD) will not 'accept/register' a domain without nameserver info?

Next I buy hosting from company B and I want to 'connect' my domain in company A with hosting in company B.

From my research, I found that to make this connection, I have to enter the nameservers of B in the control panel for my domain within company A.

Question 3: So, at this point will A update TLD administrator with the new nameservers (belonging to B)?

Question 4: Why is it not the other way around, so that I give the domain name to B (the hosting company) and they update the TLD administrator with the nameserver for B as well as the domain name?

Question 5: Lastly, I have never bought domain and hosting from 2 different companies, hence I am asking: when I want to setup a site in my hosting with B, is it mandatory to give B my domain name? If B does not get my domain name, it will be able to create the zone file and B's nameservers (that are with the TLD) will only have IP of the hosting but no domain - is this correct?

A detailed response would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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You are mixing up three separate entities, that is domain registrar, DNS service operator and hosting service.

Domain registrar in your case is company A. It takes care of handling who is responsible for the domain (you as the domain owner), and who is responsible for its name servers. Practically all domain registrars also provide basic DNS services, so that DNS service operator is also company A. When more advanced DNS features are needed, then a separate company can be used for the task.

Hosting service is the entity that hosts your web page / web application. It provides a public IP address for your service.

When you want to make your service available via your domain name, you must set up proper A record in your DNS service, which maps a domain name to the IP address provided by your hosting service.

So, the answers to your questions are:

  1. Yes, A registers your domain with the TLD administrator. It might register the domain with some name server information or might not do it.
  2. No, domain registrars accept domain registration without name server information.
  3. No. Hosting service and DNS / domain registrar service are completely separate entities. When you buy hosting, you need to set up the A record at your DNS service for the domain / IP address. You also need to make sure that your NS information at domain registrar is correct.
  4. Because hosting company has no access to the DNS in most cases. However, if your hosting company also provides DNS services, then it can do this update.
  5. No, it is not mandatory. Zone files are created at the DNS service, which has nothing to do with your hosting service. The exception is that if you buy the DNS service from your hosting provider, then you need to tell the host name there.

The only place where you need to configure the hostname is your web server and possible applications.

  • No, I disagree with point 2: in almost all registries you can register a domain name without any nameservers, and just add them later on. If you do specify nameservers they must be correct, as some registries may test immediately or later on that they are indeed truely configured as authoritative nameservers for the domain name involved. – Patrick Mevzek May 8 '17 at 8:32
  • Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure about that point. I updated my answer. – Tero Kilkanen May 8 '17 at 8:37
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You're drastically over-thinking this. There are two roles that you need to be concerned about:

  1. Domain registrar. They need a set of nameservers, but they can be bogus nameservers if you want. Obviously you'll need to set them correctly before you can do anything with the domain.
  2. DNS host. This might be the same org as you webhost, but it doesn't need to be. They need all of your DNS resource records as well as NS glue records that match whatever your nameservers are, as set at your registrar.

Period. That's it.

So, at this point will A update TLD administrator with the > new nameservers (belonging to B)?

Correct.

Why is it not the other way around, so that I give the domain name to B (the hosting company) and they update the TLD administrator with the nameserver for B as well as the domain name?

Because your hosting company is not the registrar for the domain, and they have not the access into DNS needed to do this.

when I want to setup a site in my hosting with B, is it mandatory to give B my domain name? If B does not get my domain name, it will be able to create the zone file and B's nameservers (that are with the TLD) will only have IP of the hosting but no domain - is this correct?

B does not need your domain name, unless they are also hosting your DNS.

  • You were a bit faster in writing your reply, so we have some duplicate content issues :( – Tero Kilkanen May 7 '17 at 12:34
  • @TeroKilkanen haha, so we do. Good answer, though. :) – EEAA May 7 '17 at 12:35
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To just further complement one point: the current model do insist that all operations on the domain name go through the registrar (or directly to the registry for those not having regisitrars), under the command of the current domain name operator (be it its registrant or technical operator, etc… in short someone having some access on registrar panel and/or API).

This creates a problem for DNS hosting company for example. In the past it was a small problem, appearing for example when an hosting company wanted to changed its nameserver for all domain names it hosts, it would have need to contact all customers so that they make the change themselves at their respective registrars.

However nowadays the problem goes bigger and bigger. On one side because we have huge hosting companies, such as CloudFlare, and in another side because of DNSSEC, where, besides changes of nameservers, an hosting company (specifically the DNS hoster) will need to regularly (typically once per year) push new DS records to the parent zone, which needs to go to the registrar. And relying on customers to do that is just a paved way to hell.

If you look at the IETF regext Working Group, there are various discussions and proposals to tackle this issue.

One case (draft-ietf-regext-dnsoperator-to-rrr-protocol) has just been implemented by the registry operator of .DK for CloudFlare use among others, which they announced recently: https://blog.cloudflare.com/dk-dnssec/

In short, there may be further changes in these direction, as DNS hosting companies are pushing more and more to have better control of the domain names they maintain. In the past there was even a CNS proposal in the IETF dnsop working group to work in the same way the standard CDS and CDNSKEY currently work (in short: the child enters in his zone data that should be recorded in parent zone and then signal parent that will pick up these records and change its content without an explicit push from the child; this of course mandates the use of DNSSEC throughout)

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