Getting started with DNS and Nameservers

Introduction
Understanding DNS or the Domain Name System can be an exhilarating task especially for beginners. This short and simple guide well help you understand the basics of how the Domain Name System functions and how you can set it up for use with your reseller account. We strongly recommend reading this article in full for your understanding.

The Domain Name System (DNS)
The Domain Name System (abbreviated as DNS) is a system on the internet which helps everyday users connect to servers across the world by using simply domain names made with nearly dictionary words. It makes it easier for users to remember and visit these websites. It elimiates the need for your clients to remember a numerical IP address every time they need to connect to your server. Advanced DNS can be set up to provide complex solutions to people who host their websites on multiple websites worldwide. Simply put, the Domain Name System is a system which redirects your alphanumeric easy-to-remember domain name to a difficult-to-remember IP address.

Nameservers
Nameservers are servers specifically meant to handle DNS queries from end-users. When a user types a domain name in their address bar, the browser queries information about the domain name to the respective nameserver. The nameserver then provides their browser with the information of the IP address the server is located at. This is how the internet works.

For web hosting, nameservers help webmasters easilly update their hostnames and domain names with continually changing IP addresses. It helps them easily create, delete and modify domains and update them throughout the entire cluster in a matter of minutes.

Setting up Nameservers
Advanced webmasters and developers can make their own DNS servers on the internet. But, for the purposes of this guide, we will assume that you are beginner user. HostUS provides you with a state-of-the-art DNS cluster to work with already. It is very simple to use these nameservers as your own and even whitelabel them before selling them to your customers.

Pointing your Domain to our Servers
Setting up your domain name for use with our services is very simple. If your domain registrar is external, we recommend you to login to your domain management panel on their website and updating the nameservers of your domain. We recommend contacting your domain registrar in this case.

If you registered your domain with us, your nameservers are automatically set up for you at the time of the order. To change the namservers of your domain, visit your Client Area accessible at https://my.hostus.us/ Login to your account and browse the 'Domains' tab and click on 'My Domains'. Here, you will be able to control all domain actions. 

You must set your nameservers to the following:
Nameserver 1: dns1.mainpacket.com
Nameserver 2: dns2.mainpacket.com
Nameserver 3: dns3.mainpacket.com
Nameserver 4: dns4.mainpacket.com

We currently have three nameservers distributed across the globe.

NOTE: It may take upto 48 hours for your domain to propagate and your DNS settings to be updated across the internet. 

Whitelabeling your Nameservers
As a business, you do not want your customers to know that you resell your services from HostUS. This is where nameserver whitelabeling comes in. This is one of the simplest things to set up and can boost your reputation substantially. To set, scroll down in your cPanel and click 'Advanced DNS Zone Editor' under Domains.

Now, type ns1.yourdomain.com (yourdomain.com being your domain name) in the textbox labelled 'Name'. Put the value '14400' in the 'TTL' textbox field. Make sure type is selected to A. Enter 162.220.240.87 in the 'Address' textbox field and click 'Add record'. Similarly, add records for all four nameservers, changing the field 'Name' to ns2.yourdomain.com, ns3.yourdomain.com and ns4.yourdomain.com. The 'Address' field should correspond to the IP address information given below:

(please replace x.x.x.x with the IPs you received in the welcome email)
NS1.yourdomain.com: x.x.x.x
NS2.yourdomain.com: x.x.x.x
NS3.yourdomain.com: x.x.x.x
NS4.yourdomain.com: x.x.x.x

Setting up Web Hosting Manager (WHM) to automatically use these nameservers for new client accounts
This is a very simple task to do in Web Hosting Manager (WHM). Simply click the 'Basic cPanel and WHM Setup' button on the menu bar on the left hand side after logging in to your WHM account. Then, update your nameservers (ns1.yourdomain.com, ns2.yourdomain.com, ns3.yourdomain.com, ns4.yourdomain.com) and click 'Save Changes'.

Testing your DNS Settings and more on DNS Propagation
By this time, you should have successfully set up your DNS for production use. Your new DNS settings can take upto 48 hours (2 days) to completely propagate and update itself on every server, DNS server and computer user throughout the internet because of certain caching rules (TTL). Your domain should be fully working after the maximum time period of 48 hours. After this time period, try visiting your website through its domain name with your browser (Make sure you have uploaded your website's files. If you have not, do so by reading the knowledgebase article on 'Uploading your Website').

If you followed this guide in full and your DNS is still not functioning after 48 hours, you may have done something wrong. Please contact support! We're happy to help.

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