Using custom name serversWritten by Jacob Nicholson
In this article we'll discuss how you can ensure that you are using your custom name servers that have been assigned to you. Typically custom name servers are setup as a requirement for having root access to your VPS (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server. You can also request to have custom name servers setup on your server if you'd like to provide your end-users with a name server address showing no affiliation with InMotion Hosting.
A name server can be thought of much like an Internet phone book, as all websites on the Internet are simply assigned an IP address on the server they reside on. Using the DNS (Domain Name System) the IP addresses of these websites can be more easily accessed by humans using hostnames such as InMotionHosting.com instead of having to remember the IP address of the site.
If you have custom name servers setup, it's important to point all of the domain names that you host to those custom name servers. What will happen if your server is set to use custom name servers, but your domain is pointed to our public name servers, is any DNS edits you make on your VPS or dedicated server will not update to our public name servers, and as such those changes would never be seen by the outside world until you updated your domain name to point to your custom name servers.
Our public name servers
By default any websites that we host are going to have DNS records added for that website to our public name servers. Currently these are our public name servers:
ns.inmotionhosting.com 126.96.36.199 ns2.inmotionhosting.com 188.8.131.52
Are you using our public name servers?
- In order to check and see what name servers your domain is currently set to use, you can open a command prompt window in Windows by going to Start and then typing in cmd and hitting Enter.
- Once you have a command prompt window opened up you'll want to type in the following command and hit Enter
You should now be at the nslookup prompt indicated by a >
Now you'll want to specify that you are just looking to query the (NS) name server records of the domain by typing in the following:set q=NS
Then hit Enter to be dropped to the next line, and here is where you'll type in your domain name:inmotionhosting.com
For this example we used InMotionHosting.com and we get back our public name servers:
ns.inmotionhosting.com internet address = 184.108.40.206 ns2.inmotionhosting.com internet address = 220.127.116.11
You can also try using an online DNS tool for looking at these settings such as Network-Tools.com - WhoIs lookup
Activating custom name servers
If your server has been setup with custom name servers, but your domains are still pointed at our public name servers you'll want to update these so that they are using your custom name servers.
You should have already at this point been given custom name server entries by our system administration team, or you specifically requested for them to be setup. For this example we'll be using the fake domain name MyCustomNameServer.com:
ns1.MyCustomNameServer.com 18.104.22.168 ns2.MyCustomNameServer.com 22.214.171.124
- Login to your domain Registrar where you registered the MyCustomNameServer.com domain name.
- Most Registrars will have a section similar to Maintain name servers under this domain, or it's sometime referred to as glue, or host records as well.
- Typically you'll just need to enter in the part before your domain name ns1 for instance, and then the IP address you were given for the custom name server.
- Repeat the same step again for the ns2 host as well.
After making DNS changes like this, it can take a full 24-48 hours for the settings to fully update. Once they have updated, you should be able to query your domain's name server records again, and it should come back with the custom name server settings as the active name server addresses for that domain.
You'll want to make sure to update all of your domains to use your custom name servers once they have been configured. That way any DNS edits that you make on your server will be seen by the outside world.
How do I find my custom nameserver IP's
- Log into WHM.
- Go to Home > DNS Functions > Edit DNS zone.
- Select your main domain from the list and click Edit.
You will see your ns1 and ns2 subdomain entries for your custom nameservers. The IP is located there. See image to the right.