What is NS Record?

The NS records identify the name servers, responsible for your DNS zone. In order to have a valid DNS configuration, the NS records configured in the DNS zone must be exactly the same as those configured as name servers at your domain name provider. That way, resolvers will be redirected to the proper DNS servers, the same servers that are hosting your DNS zone.

The NS record has the following look in your ClouDNS Control Panel:

Host: Type: Points to: TTL
hostname.com NS ns1.cloudns.net* 1 Hour

Why do you need an NS record?

You need NS records because DNS queries respond with an authority section listing all the authoritative name servers. For that reason, it is mandatory for your DNS zone to have the proper NS records inside. Without NS records, your zone will stop working.

How to create a DNS NS record?

Log in your ClouDNS account, enter your DNS zone management page, and click on the Add new record button. For Type choose NS and type as follow:

Type: NS
TTL: 1 Hour
Points to: ns1.cloudns.net*

*You can find and use the available name servers for you on your Dashboard page - DNS hosting section, right next to "create zone" button.

Note: The host field can be empty or @. Both will work in the same way.

How to add NS records - Step by Step video:

How to check the NS record?

One way to check the NS record of a domain name is by utilizing a command. There are a few different commands that you can use to accomplish this task manually:

If you are a Windows user, you can open the Command Prompt and check your NS records via Nslookup. An example is provided below:

> nslookup -q=NS domain.net

If you are a Linux/macOS user, you can open the Terminal and check your NS record via DIG. An illustration is shown below:

$ dig domain.net NS

These commands will show you the responsible name server for the domain. Additionally, if no NS record is found for the domain, the response will display it.

In case you like using an internet-based tool, you can check your NS record by using the ClouDNS Free DNS tool.

NS record VS SOA record

NS records have a very important role on the DNS scene. NS records tell which servers can be contracted to obtain the records pertaining to the domain.

SOA record is a DNS Resource Record as a kind of documentary record. It contains the admin email address of the person responsible and a few other values such as serial number, refresh, retry, expiry, etc.

Host: Type: Points to: TTL
hostname.com NS ns1.cloudns.net* 1 Hour
Serial Primary NS DNS admin email Refresh rate Retry rate Expire time TTL
2020111305 pns21.cloudns.net support@cloudns.net 7200 1800 1209600 1 Hour

NS record VS A record

As we already mentioned above, NS records delegate the DNS zone to use the given authoritative name servers.

The purpose of the A record is quite different. The A record is used for a Forward DNS resolution. In short, the A record points your domain to your server.

Host: Type: Points to: TTL
hostname.com NS ns1.cloudns.net* 1 Hour 
Host: Type: Points to: TTL
hostname.com A 1 Hour

How to start managing NS records with your domain name?

  1. Open free account from here - free forever
  2. Verify your e-mail address
  3. Log into your control panel
  4. Create new Master DNS from the [add new] button - read more here
  5. Add or modify the NS records you need as it is described in this article

Tips for setting up NS records

  1. Make sure that your domain is registered with the correct DNS servers.
  2. Create an A record for each domain that points to the correct IP address.
  3. Create NS records for each domain pointing to the IP addresses of the corresponding DNS servers.
  4. Make sure all records are correct and double-check spelling and syntax.
  5. Test all domains to make sure they resolve correctly.
  6. Adjust TTL settings to ensure a fast resolution.
  7. Refresh the DNS zone files to update any changes.

Support of NS records

ClouDNS provides full support for NS records for all our DNS services, including the listed below. Just write to our technical support, if you need any assistance with your NS records configuration. Our Technical Support team is online for you 24/7 via live chat and tickets.

Round Robin and NS records

Round Robin is a mechanism where multiple same-address DNS records are used instead of a single record: each time a user requests the address from the name server, it gives the address of one of the records. 

You can use NS records in combination with the Round Robin for better load balancing. To do this, each NS record should point to a server that hosts the same content. Additionally, the TTL values for the corresponding A and NS records should be short. This way, the name server changes the A record it gives out in response to address requests more quickly, allowing users to be more evenly load balanced. 

DNSSEC and NS records

DNSSEC is a security protocol that ensures the validity of DNS responses. It works by adding extra records to the domain’s DNS Zone files. This provides a layer of security that can help against DNS attacks such as DNS cache poisoning, DNS hijacking, etc.

You can use NS records with DNSSEC to provide an additional layer of security. When the DNS name server receives a query for a domain, it can use the DNSSEC records in the NS record to authenticate the response. This ensures that the response is not modified in transit and can be trusted. 


Question: Are NS records required for a domain?

Answer: Yes, an NS record is required for a domain in order for it to be accessible from the internet.

Question: How often do I need to update my NS record?

Answer: You may need to update your NS record periodically if there are changes in the DNS server that you are using. However, updating your NS record is generally only necessary if the IP address information is changed.

Question: Is it possible to make changes to an NS record?

Answer: Yes, changes can be made to an existing NS record. To do so, you must modify the DNS server that the record is pointing to.

Question: Does the order of NS records matter?

Answer: Yes, the order of NS records matters. The DNS server listed first is the Preferred Server, and the DNS server listed second is the Alternate Server. 

Last modified: 2024-02-14
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