Knowledgebase: Getting Started
All About Nameservers
Posted by on 02 July 2012 02:47 PM

What is a nameserver?

A nameserver (sometimes called a DNS server) is what translates a domain name or computer hostname to an IP address, which is a numeric pointer that identifies a computer on the Internet. Each computer/server/etc. has an IP address that looks like four numbers separated by a dot:

1.2.3.4
192.168.0.2
10.1.2.3

Instead of needing to remember all those numbers for your favorite websites, we use the DNS (domain name system) to translate domain names into IP addresses. The Nameserver is the part of the DNS system that translates all that information.

When your computer wants to know how to access www.google.com it sends a query to your ISP's DNS servers. Those servers are responsible for answering your computer's questions. If your ISP's servers don't know the answer then they have a process where they ask the central Nameservers for the Internet, who then point them to Google's Nameservers for the answer. Since Google's Nameservers are authoritative for google.com, www.google.com, gmail.com, etc, your ISP's servers ask Google's servers for the correct IP address and then tell your computer so it can ask the right server for the web page. Your ISP then caches that information so it doesn't have to ask again for a while, in case another computer asks the ISP for that information.

The Nameservers that A Small Orange uses for the domains it hosts are:

ns1.asmallorange.com
ns2.asmallorange.com

Point Your Nameserver to Another Host

If you registered your domain name at ASO you can login to the Customer Area (https://help.asmallorange.com/clientarea.php) and follow these steps:

  1. Click My Domains
  2. Click the View Details button directly adjacent to the domain in question
  3. Untick the Registrar Lock box so that the domain is temporarily unlocked and click Save
  4. In the nameserver fields, change them to your new host's nameservers
  5. Tick the Registrar Lock box again so that the domain is locked
  6. Save your changes

Note: enter the nameserver in the format of ns1.example.com. You do not need to use the Register a Nameserver function.

What are my nameservers?

The nameservers for your shared hosting account are ns1.asmallorange.com and ns2.asmallorange.com.

The nameservers for your VPS account (using example.com) are ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com.

You will need to register your nameservers with the registrar where you purchased the domain, if it was not A Small Orange.

 

See also Setup Nameservers at Registrar, Setup Custom Nameservers, Do I need to change my nameservers to use CloudFlare?

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