Fun Links 2015-11-20

I’ve been dealing with a lot of DNS recently, and so I figured I’d put together a DNS flavoured set of links this week. If you own a domain name (or perhaps a collection of them), then you need DNS as well. DNS allows your handsome domain name to resolve into IP addresses that then are used to send requests where they need to go.

A lot of DNS providers want to charge a fair bit for their services. And if you are an enterprise client with strict SLA needs and high-end requirements, with DDoS protection then spending a bit of money makes sense. If you are hosting a personal website or a hobby application online, you want something free or cheap.

Before even looking at the list below, your best bet may well be to use the DNS service from whoever sold you your domain name. Most popular registrars offer DNS services with their domains, usually for free. If that isn’t the case, perhaps you can find a better registrar. Usually, the service offered is fairly basic, but most of the time that is all you need.

If you are using a VPS from somewhere like Digital Ocean then they may provide a free DNS service. Rackspace and Linode do this as well. So if you are paying for a service with someone already, check for free DNS offerings. However, if like with Digital Ocean in my case, the offering isn’t flexible enough for your needs, you may need to look elsewhere.

Another feature of some DNS services is API access that can allow you to update your DNS to point to a dynamic IP address, like the one you probably have on your home broadband connection. Some DNS providers offer tools for this specifically so if it is something that you are looking for then search around.

Route 53
Amazon Web Services offer a domain registration and DNS service called Route 53. While the DNS service isn’t free, it is fully customizable and will only add less than a dollar per month to your AWS bill. Unless you are getting over a million visits per month, in which case it might cost $1.50. As with any AWS service, it is enterprise ready and probably overkill for a personal blog or similar site, but if you need full control over the records in your zone, then this is a viable option. Has an HTTP API for managing zones and records.

ClouDNS is a DNS provider with a free plan that allows for up to three domain names. The free plan is missing some features that you may want, but they have a personal ($22/year) plan that adds in all of the features you should need and supports up to 40 domains. The paid plans have an HTTP API, but the free plan claims to support dynamic IPs, so they may have a tool as well.

Namecheap FreeDNS
Namecheap is a domain name registrar who offers its DNS services for free to non-domain users because they believe their quality of service will win you over to transfer your domains to them. They are targeting people whose domain registrars don’t provide DNS hosting for the domains. Not a bad move. I can’t speak to their offering regarding tooling or customization, but I suspect it is pretty easy to use.