Not all domain names registras provides DNS hosting service to the domains purchasers. Normally, to earn extra income revenue, domain name registrars will require domain name registrants to buy additional service for DNS hosting service, or the domain price has been marked up to reflect the “free” managed DNS server. In this case, the domain owners can either set up own DNS hosting server, or host the DNS entries for the domains in external free or paid DNS hosting services.
There are plenty of free DNS hosting service providers available on Internet, with different level of reliability, number of DNS servers, location of DNS servers, amount and number of DNS records and record types, static or dynamic DNS (DDNS), refresh rate of DNS records, update speed of DNS records, support for dynamic IP address, acceptable usage policy, different control panel user interface, accept top or second level domain (domain.com) or/and third level domain (user.dns.com), spam policy and etc. As free web DNS hosting is free, so everybody can use it for any custom DNS anytime from any place. For various reasons list below, webmasters can use the free DNS hosting for.
- Want to save money or don’t want to pay money to subscribe for a paid DNS hosting service such as DynDNS.com and NoIP.com.
- Want to ensure and improve reliability and accessibility of the domain with secondary secondary DNS servers. In the case of primary DNS servers down or unavailable due to network problems, resolver will fallback to secondary DNS entries.
- Need DNS name servers that located in USA or closer to North America Internet backbones.
- Newbies who just started in web publishing or new in DNS server administration, so not familiar with workflow or working logic of Internet DNS system. So it’s better not do do it yourself, and using free DNS hosting is good alternative.
- To set up multiple DNS servers at different geographical location to ensure that different regions will have fastest resolution of the domain name.
- Want a publicly-accessible DNS name servers outside of firewall which blocks current name server.
- ISP unable to provide DNS host or going to change ISP in future.
- Just need a specific DNS record such as MX records where setting up a new name server or paid service is too costly.
- Want to have more control over DNS records.
- Own name server unable to take the load of DNS resolving requests.
Whatever is your reason, here’s a list of free DNS hosting or NS service providers if you need one. Not that those DNS service or dynamic DNS services only supports shared third level hostname (i.e username.dns-subdomain.com) and not self own (core) fully qualified top and second level domain name are excluded from the list.
- CloudFlare – A reliable and robust service provides content delivery network, Internet security services and distributed domain name server services. The DNS hosting service is the basis for all other functions of CloudFlare, and you can also use CloudFlare just for its DNS hosting function, which is free of charge.
- ZoneEdit – Provides free managed DNS service and secondary name service with servers in US and Europe. Also offers free WebForward domain forwarding, MailForward email forwarding, starter web page and domain parking. Supports dynamic DNS (DDNS) and failover or load balancing. Free service limited to maximum 5 domains.
- dnsEXIT – Provides reliable DNS Services free to top level domains for both business and internet users. The DNS supports Dynamic IP that means users will be able to run your own website, ftp, or mail servers via DSL, cable modem lines with dynamic IP. Features DNS Tools record creation wizard.
- CloudDNS – Offers free DNS hosting with 4 DNS servers, 3 DNS zones, 3 mail forwards, unlimited records and support for Dynamic DNS and web redirects.
- DNS Park – Offers free DNS hosting with some limitation such as no wildcard DNS records, no Anycast DNS and minimum time-to-live. Previous promotion in AdWords campaign is offering free services just to try DNS Park service. The free service tokens do not expire so users can use them forever. Free services available are DNS Hosting, Mail Guiding, Web Guiding and Web Camping.
- DynDNS.dk – Current pricing for DNS Pro service is free which enables users to manage all name related aspects for own domain names. Include special features such as dynamic updateable IP-addresses and browser request forwarding (to another URL). All the standard name server settings (A-, CNAME-, MX-records etc.) can be controlled.
- freeDNS.afraid.org – Free dynamic DNS and static DNS services, subdomain hosting, domain hosting, backup DNS, forward and reverse IPv6 DNS hosting (both .int and .arpa) and URL redirection or web forwarding. Support unlimited number of domains per account, all TLD, and record types including CNAME, A, AAAA, MX, NS, TXT, LOC, RP, HINFO, SRV records. Also features round robin DNS supported for load balancing and URL cloaking redirection. Users can edit TTL, Minimum, Allow/Deny AXFR’s, and approve/disapprove others from using hosts on your domain.
- MyDomain – Sign up and register a free account to use the free web-based DNS Management service. No purchase necessary. Also included free e-mail forwarding, unmasked, masked or banner supported URL forwarding.
- Sitelutions – Free internationally redundant high-quality NS server for DNS (dynamic and static), URL redirection or forwarding). Supports domain parking and domain locking and using easy web-based control for DNS and redirection settings. Allows low TTL settings and instant dynamic updates.
- XName – Provides primary and secondary name servers, which hosted on 3 name servers. Supports IPv6 AAAA records, .in-addr.arpa zones (PTR records), automatic modification of associated reverse (or normal) zone, dynamic update, and automatic refresh.
- BuddyNS – A free secondary DNS service, where BuddyNS replicates your DNS service. Free service supports up to 0.3 Million queries/month total traffic (per-account).
- Twisted4Life – Free secondary DNS for domains which users have control of its DNS settings on primary DNS server.
The following services used to provide free DNS hosting or managed DNS service, but has either defunct, no longer in service, acquired by competitor, or no longer has free option.
Bur.st Networking– Provides domain hosting and domain seconding (secondary DNS), complete with mail hosting and backup mail server. Bur.st has a number of redundant name-servers, located at logicaly and physicaly separate sites. Only available to those physically live in Australia. EditDNS– Free DNS hosting supports A, CNAME, MX, NS, SRV, TXT, PTR, and AAAA records, backup DNS, dynamic DNS, sub-domains, web forwarding, e-mail forwarding, email hosting, e-mail backup, MX re-routing, and spam and virus email filtering. Europe and US nameservers available. EveryDNS– Provides static free DNS services as well as many advanced services such as Dynamic DNS resolution, Secondary service, AXFR service, and domain2web redirection. Granite Canyon– The free public DNS service offers both primary and secondary DNS. Gratis DNS– Free DNS service in Danish language. miniDNS– Provides hosting for your own top-level domain name, support dynamic IP to fixed domain name mapping, and web based DNS record management. VCSWEB– Free DNS Service (a Primary and a Secondary) which support both static or dynamic IP address, with an easy to use interface that even beginners can use, whilst not restricting the more advanced users. All changes has real-time updates. VDirect– Offers free virtual web, domain and email redirection service, with cloaking and website statistics features. Advertising supported using a banner at bottom of redirected page, popup banner, or a banner delay page. Paid service for no adverts.
Note that most DNS hosts that advertise dynamic DNS support (DDNS) should be able to work with static IP addresses too.