DNS Servers And Why You Should Care
DNS servers are the building blocks of the internet. They direct our web browsers to the right websites when we visit our favorite sites. Without them, the web would be far less useful.
DNS servers also perform a crucial role in preventing online fraud by maintaining the integrity of domain names. When we type in “amazon.com” into our web browser, we expect to see the amazon website. But if the DNS server is compromised, an attacker could change the address to something else (like mamatsearcher.com or hxxp://barnysoe.com). This would make us visit a malicious website instead of the amazon one.
The Importance Of Having A Stable DNS Server
Most people assume that any free DNS server offered by a hosting company is reliable and safe to use. While this may be true for the most part, it’s still not something you should just take for granted. Let’s say you’re hosting a WordPress blog with 1,000 daily uniques. If a visitor types in the incorrect or outdated DNS server address into their web browser and you’re using a shared hosting plan, you may experience sub-optimal speeds or even downtime due to overloading.
Since DNS servers are directly linked to your site’s speed, you could see a significant decrease in overall performance if you’re not using the most stable and up-to-date DNS server available. When choosing a DNS server, you also need to make sure that it handles all the TLDs (Top Level Domains) you plan on using. Some DNS servers are limited to a few TLDs, while others can handle dozens of them.
The most stable, trustworthy, and hands-down favorite DNS servers among our readers are listed below.
For the best experience, we recommend using the DNS servers of your favorite providers in combination with NordVPN.
1And1’s Free DNS
1And1 is the ultimate host for those looking for a free DNS. As the name suggests, this is a one-and-one-half-starved DNS that offers amazing value. Their top-notch service is completely free, and it comes with a handy proxy that lets you access any website, even if you’re restricted by your ISP. You get a free domain (like “my-cool-site.com”) and you can put up to three custom nameservers (ns1, ns2, and ns3) that will handle all the DNS requests for your domain.
If you’re choosing this route, it’s imperative that you get a good understanding of how DNS works and why you should care about its stability. Just remember: your site’s traffic is totally dependent on the stability of DNS. So, if you’re not comfortable messing around with DNS, then this is not the right solution for you.
DreamHost’s Free DNS
DreamHost, considered to be one of the most reliable and trusted web hosts out there, also offers a free DNS service that’s great for beginners. Just like 1And1, this service is completely free. But unlike 1And1, DreamHost also provides a free dedicated IP that you can use to access your site from anywhere. A dedicated IP is a public IP address that is usually associated with one computer or server.
With a dedicated IP, you can use any of the shared hosting plans they provide and still have your own site (with custom domain). Plus, you get free backups, free domain privacy, and an amazing support team to help you out if you have any questions.
Bluehost’s Free DNS
Another great value-based host for those looking for a free DNS is Bluehost. What makes Bluehost special is that not only do they provide a free domain, but they also offer a free dedicated IP and a free backup service that, as the name suggests, is completely free (as in speech).
In case you’re curious, a dedicated IP is not attached to a shared hosting plan. Instead, it belongs to you and it’s used to access your site directly from anywhere. You don’t need to use a VPN to do this. While shared hosting plans let you install a WordPress blog with 1,000 daily uniques, a dedicated IP only gives you 15,000 hits per day (which is enough for most small blogs). So, if you have a larger site with more complex traffic requirements, this is the best choice for you.
Cloudflare’s Free DNS
Last but not least, we have Cloudflare. This is an independent company that provides DNS and content delivery networks (CDNs) services to businesses around the world. These services allow website owners to improve their website’s load time, security, and performance. While many people choose shared hosting or a VPS (virtual private server) plan from Cloudflare because of their ease of use, they also provide a free DNS service that’s just as good as the paid versions.
Unlike the other DNS servers listed above, you don’t get a custom domain with your Cloudflare account. Instead, you get a free subdomain like “yourdomain.com”. But, you can install a WordPress blog on this subdomain and use the 1and1 dashboard to manage all the DNS configuration. This way, you don’t need to worry about maintaining a separate DNS database and can focus on creating content.
Which DNS Should I Use?
So, which one should you use? There’s a right answer for everyone, depending on your specific needs. But, generally, if you’re looking for a free DNS, we recommend opting for 1and1, DreamHost, or Bluehost. Just remember: using any of these DNS servers in conjunction with NordVPN is strongly recommended for the best experience.