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    Looking for Clarification on A record, CNAME, etc


    Hi,

    I'm trying to learn a bit more about DNS servers. Please help by correcting me or helping me with my questions below. Thanks

    I originally pointed my domain, reigstered by one company, to a webserver, hosted by another company, a couple of years ago and I'm not entirely sure how I did it.

    When I took a look it seems like I changed the name server from my domain registrar's default name servers to the name server given to me by my hosting company.

    I thought I had done something like updating MX records but I don't see anything like that. I don't think I even remember what MX records are.

    Is it possible that the only thing I did was change the nameservers and then my website provider updated their dns records for my webiste themselves?

    Now I have a VPS and another domain and this time I want to be in more control of what goes where. The problem was that when I wanted to redirect a subdomain to another address I had to ask my hosting company and they had to update the A record themselves, which is just a lot slower and cumbersome than doing it myself.

    Are A records in charge of all subdomains and where they are redirected to by specifying the actual IP address?

    Are C NAME records just subdomain to subdomain redirects? For example, if I have a C NAME entry titled "test1" and redirect it to "test" then test.mysite.com and test1.mysite.com would go to the exact same A record which would be specified by wherever test was pointed.

    Something like that, right?
    Why do you even need C NAME then? Couldn't you just do everything through A records?
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    MX records are Mail Exchange records. You shouldn't have to do anything with this in setting up a webhost.

    Your domain registrar needs the nameservers of the webhost. At the domain registrar, they are usually called domain hosts, or dns hosts, but I have seen a few different titles as well.

    cnames are aliases, and you don't have to use them. I use A records for everything as do many others.

    Some hosts allow you the option to adjust dns yourself, however others don't.
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    Originally Posted by hiker
    Your domain registrar needs the nameservers of the webhost. At the domain registrar, they are usually called domain hosts, or dns hosts, but I have seen a few different titles as well.
    So if I have a VPS somewhere...I have to change the name servers for my domain in my domain registrars control panel to the name servers used by my VPS?
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    Originally Posted by Aro2220
    So if I have a VPS somewhere...I have to change the name servers for my domain in my domain registrars control panel to the name servers used by my VPS?
    Yep. If you use and create private nameservers, then place those there. Or if your VPS provider provided you some, use those should you choose.
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    Ah yes, I started to realize that I would need my own name servers if I wanted to control them.

    Running a name server is kind of confusing to someone who has never done it before. Also, you really need two, not one, name server.
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    Originally Posted by Aro2220
    Ah yes, I started to realize that I would need my own name servers if I wanted to control them.

    Running a name server is kind of confusing to someone who has never done it before. Also, you really need two, not one, name server.
    Yes, you're supposed to have 2 on different subnets, however, if you don't, it will still work. Will alert you to errors (or warnings) if you were to check the DNS though.

    Most registrars will require 2 nameservers, however, I have seen some that only require 1.
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    If you do not want to host your own nameserver's you can use a separate dns hosting provider and just point to their servers at your domain's registrar. Depending on who you registered with, they may provide dns hosting for you as part of your domain purchase.

    I currently have my registered trough godaddy and they provide you the ability to configure your DNS (up to 100 records) via their control panel. My previous registrar also had a similar, but more limited feature. I just use them to configure the A/MX/TXT records I need rather than try and run my own name servers.
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    I realized that it would be difficult and not very beneficial for me to try to host my own name server with just a single VPS.

    I'm registered through netfirms.ca and they let me adjust my records. What was confusing me was that since it takes quite a while for changes to trickle through the rest of the internet's dns servers I couldn't tell if what I had done was working or not.

    So I just left it alone and came back in a couple days and the redirection seems to be working great now.

    Thank you for all the help!

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