3 New FREE DNS Hosting Providers (Including Failover Hosting)

Free DNS Providers

An easy way to lighten the server load on any vps or dedicated server you might be using is to move all services that don’t need to be served by the operating system off-site to another host. The two easiest examples that I use daily are Google Apps for free hosted email and a free DNS host to manage all my DNS + nameserver records.

Now it use to be there were only a small handful of choices for a free DNS host and lately even those have either dropped specific services from their “FREE” tier or have started performing poorly. After asking around for the past year or so I’ve come across three solid new DNS hosting services that are completely FREE. One even gives you something you won’t find at any other free dns service – failover IP hosting.

Anyhow, these are all top-notch services offered by companies & individuals who have been in the hosting business for 30+ years with reputable names. Trust me, none of these are going anywhere anytime soon.
So onto the list:

Hurricane Electric – https://dns.he.net/
Hurricane Electric is one of the most trusted, long-lasting (having started in 1994) Hosting services I can think of. I honestly can’t think of a single incident that reflected poorly on them in the entire time that i’ve been aware of their services. Anyhow, they recently rolled out a free IPv4 and IPv6 DNS service that’s still in beta (but you can join + use it to your hearts content). The good thing about using DNS hosting with he.net is their huge support system for IPv6 and IPv6/4 tunneling. That’s for a whole other post though, just know that it’s a breeze to get IPv6’s setup + even configured to use their IPv4 tunnels.

Dualstack: Supports queries via both IPv4 and native IPv6.
Support for A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, NS, TXT, SRV, and PTR records.
Smart mode IPv4 and IPv6 reverse zones simplifies reverse zones.
Slave support
Multiple reverse zone formats: Standard, RFC 4183, RFC 2317, DeGroot.
Geographically diverse servers.
Sanity checking for delegation for both forward and reverse zones.
Basic syntax checking for fields.
Multiple domains per account.

Point DNS Hosting – http://www.pointhq.com/
This is a relatively new DNS Services offered for free by atechmedia, a young Ruby/Linux Developement shop that’s been getting solid good press for the past few years. Setting up records on new domains is a snap with their steamlined UI, I recommend it. The entire service is free up to 10 domains.

Manage as many domains as you want (within reason, of course) from one friendly and easy to use interface
Add unlimited A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, SRV or TXT records to your zones/domains.
Setup permanant HTTP redirects directly from the web interface.
Use our easy to use SPF record setup wizard/tool.
Easily add MX & SRV records for Google® mail & talk.
Distributed nameservers across the UK and United States.
Group your domains into manageable chunks and change domain TTL.
A full API is available so you can integrate DNS management directly into your own apps and systems.

ExtNS – http://extns.net
Ok this started out a while ago as a personal project from Ditlev Bredahl, a hosting legend/great programmer who started numerous companies including UK2Group (uk2group.com). He runs their array of hosting companies (including vps.net and 10tb.com) not to mention his latest venture into cloud hosting platforms OnApp.com. Anyhow this is hosted across softlayers series of peer networks using all homemade code. It’s pretty amazing, especially when you’re looking to monitor any aspect of the DNS service. Ohh, and you get free DNS Fail Over protection…good luck finding that anywhere else for free. Other services include a very nice service/server monitoring service. Currently there’s no limit to the domains u can host on extns.net. No feature list provided but they have everything but the kitchen sink attached to this service, and if it’s missing something he encourages you to send him an email to request it.

I’ve personally used all three services on production boxes without any problems whatsoever for the past 6 months…. they beat the pants off afraid.org, everydns.com, dyndns.com, and zoneedit, not to mention takes the huge hassle of hosting your own DNS off your plate and in the safe hands of professionals.