As for your other question, you don't, the whole idea of DNS is that it doesn't matter. You simply tell them what servers are authoritative for your domain, and your servers are supposed to snychronize themselves.
a2z-free.com is a directory of free static and dynamic DNS services for domain redirection, MX records, and more
fdns.net - free third level dns
Check out there, there are a lot. I personally would not trust "just anyone" with dns for my domain, their name servers would have to be colocated and geographically distributed, and they should be arround for a while with a good history - otherwise its a pretty big risk.
Originally posted by error404 As for your other question, you don't, the whole idea of DNS is that it doesn't matter. You simply tell them what servers are authoritative for your domain, and your servers are supposed to snychronize themselves.
Pardon my ignorance, but the above may just as well have been written in Greek for me ... could some kind soul please provide a translation in English?
If I own domain.com and name.com, can I have domain.com hosted by one company with nameservers set as ns1.name.com and obtained from a free DNS provider (such as zoneedit.com or afraid.org)? In other words, can I avoid paying the host the fee normally payable for private nameservers (ns1.name.com)?
Unless the nameserver's IP is the same as the host's server IP, how does a browser resolve the domain to the server where the content resides?
An authoritative server is one that contains the configuration for a particular domain. Normally a server will forward the request on until it figures out what server to ask to resolve the domain (as in your ISPs DNS servers). When you host a domain, your server becomes authoritative, in that it directly responds for a particular domain, and holds the subdomains and various other configurations related to that domain. When you purchase a domain, all you really get is the right to an entry on one of the root servers that says 'for records on xxx.com, see this DNS server', and any server asking for your domain will be forwarded on to the servers you define as authoritative. They're returned in a round-robin fashion, and none is granted any sort of 'primary' or 'secondary' status by the DNS system itself; all servers for your domain are treated equally and given equal traffic. DNS is designed to be a stable, reliable system, not necessarily an extremely fast one (caching is used to mitigate this). Anyway, if you have a secondary dns server, you must take steps to ensure that both servers resolve things *exactly the same*, or how your domain works will depend upon which server is next in the rotation when a user makes a request -- a bad thing. Most DNS servers support a zone transfer protocol which can be used to automatically synchronize the slave servers with the master (the only one you manually modify the domain on).
The domain is usually not the concern of your hosting company (unless you bought it through some agreement with them, of course). Only the registrar is concerned with those details, and in fact the system will work fine how you propse even using the IPs of your host's name servers instead of a free service (though I'd advise against this; you'd have no warning were they to ever change).
Setting up custom nameservers based on the domain they're serving for requires that you set up 'glue' at your registrar so that your domain will resolve (the problem is that in order to resolve the NS IPs, the server would need to know the NS ips -- a catch 22 -- in order to solve the problem, the NS names and IPs must be stored at the registrar server). Some registrars allow this and make it simple, some are more difficult, especially if they're connected to a hosting service.
Resolving IPs is exactly the purpose of DNS. When you set up a domain in DNS you can add an arbitrary number of host -> ip entries under your domain that can resolve to any ip you desire. Basically, when a DNS query is initiated by your browser, the following will happen:
1) Your OS forwards the query to one of your ISPs nameservers
2) Your ISPs nameserver checks to see if it's a locally hosted domain -- it isn't, so the request is forwarded on to a root server for the TLD you're using
3) The TLD nameserver contians the nameservers for your domain that you defined with your registrar. It returns the IP of all of these to your ISPs nameserver as the query result.
4) Your ISPs nameserver examines the result and determins that it still doesn't have the IP for the domain itself -- only the nameserver's IP, so it must do more looking.
5) Your ISPs nameserver then takes the first nameserver that was returned to it by the TLD nameserver and asks it for any information about the domain you're looking for
6) This server is one of the ones you defined with your registrar, so it is authoritative for the domain and can respond with a definitive 'yes' or 'no' when asked about a domain (otherwise it could only say 'look here' or 'i dont know'). If the domain exists, the IP(s) are returned to your ISPs nameserver, if it doesn't a message to that effect is returned.
7) Your ISPs nameserver returns the IP to your browser and the query is finished.
Hopefully you understand that. The idea behind DNS is that queries are passed along a chain of increasing authority (the TLD nameservers control every domain under that TLD, extra levels can be added as in .gov.uk, etc.) until the nameserver for that domain is found (or determined not to exist), and it is then asked for the specific record. It seems like a slow system, but this all happens very quickly, and much of it will be cached so that future queries require only the final few steps.
Originally posted by error404 Setting up custom nameservers based on the domain they're serving for requires that you set up 'glue' at your registrar so that your domain will resolve (the problem is that in order to resolve the NS IPs, the server would need to know the NS ips -- a catch 22 -- in order to solve the problem, the NS names and IPs must be stored at the registrar server). Some registrars allow this and make it simple, some are more difficult, especially if they're connected to a hosting service.
Are you sure that NS and IPs are stored at the registrar server? I thought they are entrered by you to registrar then passed on to ROOT-SERVERS.net or GLD-SERVERS.NET (I may misspelled the domain)
Yes, you're right, the glue is stored with the TLD authority. root-servers.net handles the root domain - redirecting you to the appropriate TLD authority depending on the TLD you're trying to access. gtld-servers.net are the authoritative servers for .com, .net, .org, so that's where the glue sits.