What are NS records and why are they important for DNS?

Domain Name System (DNS) records are crucial instructions that help servers handle web client requests. They are different DNS record types; which we have discussed in our previous blog posts.

In this article, we will introduce you to DNS NS records or name server records and why they are essential to DNS and the operation of your website or web application. So, what is an NS record?

What is a DNS NS record?

The DNS NS record stands for domain name system name server registration. It contains information that determines which server is authoritative for a particular DNS domain or zone.

When you enter a website address into your browser, a DNS query is initiated to locate the IP address and take you to that website. The nameserver record tells your server where to find the IP address associated with that domain.

If your NS records are misconfigured, no one can find and load your website domain.

You can configure multiple NS records for your domain to serve as redundancy or load balancing, called primary and secondary name servers. When the primary server is unavailable, the secondary server can step in to respond to requests.

The best way to create DNS service redundancy is to configure primary and secondary NS records on different network segments.

The NS registration points to the name server containing all files and DNS records belonging to a domain. The name server also contains other records like the A record, MX DNS record, TXT recordand SOA registration.

However, DNS NS records are limited because they only provide the name server name of a domain and not the domain’s IP address. As such, a DNS A or AAAA record must exist in the DNS zone for each DNS server to ensure successful DNS resolution.

Another important aspect of an NS record is that you can use it to delegate subdomains of your main domain to other DNS servers. For example, you can delegate “blog.mywebsite.com” by creating a name server record for “blog.mywebsite.com” in the “mywebsite.com” zone.

What is a name server?

This type of domain name server contains all DNS records for a specific domain, including YYYY records, DNS PTR recordsand CNAME records. Name servers play a vital role in routing web traffic across the Internet.

When you access a website like EasyDMARC on your web browser, the browser performs a DNS lookup and directs your request to the appropriate server.

The name server is part of the process, providing the names of the servers to contact. Computers cannot understand domain names like EasyDMARC.com entered into your browser. Name servers translate domain names into their corresponding IP addresses to facilitate routing.

Most domains have multiple name servers to improve reliability. If one name server is down, DNS queries are directed to another.

When should you update or change your NS records?

You may need to change or update your NS records for various reasons. First, changing your domain’s nameservers requires updating your NS records. Domain administrators should also update their NS records if they want to use different name servers for their domain.

For example, you need to update the NS record if you want to route blog.mywebsite.com through ns2.mywebsite.com instead of ns1.mywebsite.com.

Note that it may take more than one for updates to your NS records to propagate through DNS.

How to create a DNS NS record?

Creating a DNS NS record is simple. Log in to your DNS provider’s service portal and follow this step-by-step guide on how to add NS record in DNS:

  • From your DNS portal, click Manage > DNS > Areas.
  • In the “Zones” section, press the ‘Create button or tab.
  • Then click ‘Registration,’ and select ‘NS record among the options.
  • On the ‘Create an NS record page, enter the following:
  • Last name: Enter the name of the NS record.
  • Area: Choose an area from the available options.
  • Server name: Enter the name server name.
  • The description: Write descriptive information about the NS record.
  • Lifetime : For the TTL for NS records, enter a number and choose hours, minutes and seconds from the options.
  • Key words: Press the ‘To add button to attach keys to values:
  • Key: Enter a name for the key.
  • Rate: Enter a value for each key.
  • Press the ‘to safeguard button to save your settings.

These steps are generally the same whether you are using GoDaddy, Oracle, NS1, OpenDNS, etc.

How to Check a Domain’s NS Record

Checking your domain’s NS records is essential to confirm correct setup. If you don’t configure your NS records correctly, users won’t be able to access your website. You can check your NS record using online tools like EasyDMARC Finding DNS Records.

Our online tool is easy to use. Enter your domain name in the “Domain or IP” box provided. Check the NS button and click the “Search DNS” button to continue – it’s that easy!

Alternatively, you can check domain NS records using your computer terminal with the command nslookup. This command works well on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. To verify NS records for a domaintype the following command in your terminal:

nslookup -type=NS hostens.com

Let’s compare NS with other record types

There are different types of DNS records, each performing specific functions. Let’s compare NS with other record types to understand these differences.

NS record vs SOA record

The SOA or Start of Authority record contains vital administrative information about a particular domain name. These include the administrator’s email address, entry, and the date the domain was last updated.

On the other hand, the NS record contains information about the authoritative server which contains information about the domain you are looking for.

NS Record vs. A Record

NS records determine which name server is authoritative for a particular domain. However, a DNS A record is quite different as it points the domain name to its corresponding IP address.


Congratulations, you now know all about NS records. They contain information about the authoritative server for a specific domain.

Without it, a DNS resolution request won’t succeed and people won’t be able to locate your website. Therefore, domain administrators should properly configure NS records and other types of DNS records to improve their website’s performance, prevent DNS spoofingand ensure reliability.

The post office What are NS records and why are they important for DNS? appeared first on EasyDMARC.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of EasyDMARC written by EasyDmarc. Read the original post at: https://easydmarc.com/blog/what-are-ns-records-and-why-are-they-important-to-dns/

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