These FAQ's are from the legacy platform but still describe many of the services available here.
To view documentation specific to the new system and the migration to it, please see the new Knowledge Base.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What services does ZoneEdit provide?
- ZoneEdit hosts reliable DNS servers and provides domain registration, e-mail servers for email forwarding, and web servers for URL forwarding and parked domains. ZoneEdit provides a convenient single-location, integrated, web-based domain manager for configuring all of the services provided.
2) How do I get started with ZoneEdit?
- You must already own one or more domain names purchased from ZoneEdit or another domain registrar
- Once you have confirmed your account, log in and add zones to your account
- A pair of nameservers will be assigned to you - set the nameservers for your domains to match these assigned nameservers
3) Why are you called “ZoneEdit”?
- In DNS terminology, a domain name is a single entry, like "www.domain.com" or just "domain.com". A "Zone" is a collection of one or more domain names, all having the same ending. For example, "domain.com" is a zone that contains "domain.com", "www.domain.com", and "mail.domain.com". Another example of a zone is ".com", which contains all domains that end in ".com". When you sign up for ZoneEdit service, you are able to edit the DNS entries that are within your "Zone". Hence, "ZoneEdit".
4) What are ZoneEdit’s Terms of Service?
- See our terms of service page
6) How can I contact ZoneEdit?
- See our support page
7) How reliable are ZoneEdit's servers?
- ZoneEdit runs on top-tier NOCs, with diesel backup power and multiple fiber lines to backbone providers. We continue to improve our network, ensuring that ZoneEdit is the most robust DNS provider on the Internet. In the event of a partial outage, the DNS system automatically fails over to another network - without losing a query. We run monitoring scripts on all of our servers, tracking CPU utilization, traffic, and response time to all services. If high reliability is a concern, we allow you to pay extra to tier-up the average speed and reliability of your service. You do this by adding a 3rd and 4th nameserver to the system. At 4 nameservers, your uptime would be 99.99999%. At 3 nameservers your uptime is 99.998%, at 2 (standard), the uptime is 99.5%. What do all of these percentages mean? They reflect our best estimates of the worst total outages we have had in any given year, for any nameserver set, divided by the number of hours in that year.
8) Where can I purchase domain names?
- We recommend our partner site Domain.com for domain name purchases
9) How does your billing system work?
- When you make a purchase - we add 'zone credits' to your account
- When a zone is added to your account, your credit balance is debited by 1 and the start date is set on the domain
- Each month, your account is charged 1 credit for the zone
- Extra (third, fourth) nameservers hosted by ZoneEdit cost an extra 'zone credit' (1) per month
- Failover service costs an extra 3 'zone credits' (3) per month
- Backup mail service costs an extra 'zone credit' (1) per month
- When the number of credits remaining in your account reaches 0 and zones require payment, warnings of zone expiration will be sent to the account billing contact and displayed via nameserver settings for website visitors
- After 30 days without payment, we will disable the expired zone
10) My website says that "ZoneEdit DNS services for this domain have expired". What should I do?
- Your Zone has expired and there are not enough credits in your account to renew the service. Log into your account and add credits to automatically renew the zone management for that domain name.
11) How much are your services? Are there any limits to what you provide?
Purchase Quantity Price Discount
- Unused credits never expire as long as your account is actively consuming credits. If your account consumes no credits for 12 months, your remaining credits will expire.
- Each zone may contain a maximum of 1000 records
- Zones include up to 3,000,000 DNS queries per month. If you go over these limits, you will be charged an additional credit per 3,000,000 queries per month.
12) Does ZoneEdit support round-robin DNS?
- Yes - Simply create 2 or more "A" records with the same domain name and different IP addresses, and your visitors will be load balanced between the servers.
13) How does Backup MX work?
- When you sign up for the backup mail service, we automatically add our backup mail server in an MX record to your zone. This causes all incoming mail to attempt your primary server first, and if that fails, to try our backup server. When our backup server gets mail for you, it looks up your primary server, and periodically attempts to redeliver your mail to the primary. It will attempt redelivery for 10 days before returning the mail to the sender as undeliverable.
14) How does your failover service work?
- Failover monitoring service works when you have two or more web servers running the same (or similar) web site.
- First, you need to set up the IP address for your domain - then you add the failover monitor.
- The failover monitor watches your web server(s) by hitting a URL you specify and looking for text in the results.
- When the system detects that one of the servers is having an error and the others are not, it pulls the IP address of the unresponsive server out of the list.
- If none of the IP's are responding and you have a failure IP/URL defined, then our system will point the site to the failure IP/URL.
- If the system can't get to all of the IP's then it assumes that the fault is it's own connection - and it takes no action.
- If any of your IP's come back online they are restored
- This effectively and safely keeps your site online - even if one of your web servers is down.
- The average failure detection time is 10 minutes. This time varies depending on the speed of your site and the nature of the failure. Recovery times are faster, averaging 5 minutes.
15) When is Dynamic DNS necessary?
- Dynamic DNS is necessary when the IP address of a server tied to a domain name constantly changes. This is typical when the server connects to the Internet through cable Internet or DSL. In Dynamic DNS, the server contacts the DNS provider each time its IP address changes in order to update the DNS entry for the domain hosted by the server.
16) Why do I need Dynamic IP Addresses?
- Instead of using free web hosting services, you can run your own web server at home on an ordinary PC. However, if you have a dial-up connection, DSL line, or cable modem, then your IP address continually changes every time you connect. ZoneEdit.com Dynamic DNS allows your home web server/pc to have a permanent address on the internet.
17) What clients are available for Dynamic DNS?
- Remember, you must have a ZoneEdit account for these clients to work. Also, it's important to add your current IP Address (A) to your zone before using Dynamic DNS. Some clients work best on specific O/S's, and others work cross-platform.
- Windows Clients:
- zeDyn: ZoneEdit's dynamic update client (use srvany to run as a service)
- DirectUpdate: a Dynamic DNS updater that runs as a NT service.
- Macintosh Clients:
- DNSUpdate for MacOS X.
- Easy to install, recommended for MaxOS X and above.
- Dynamic DNS Client for Macintosh.
- This requires you to get this XML file, unstuff-it and put it in the prefs folder and restart the machine.
- Here's a troubleshooter for Mac DynDNS setup.
- UNIX Clients:
- DDClient 3.0 is a Perl client used to update dynamic DNS entries for accounts on many dynamic DNS services. You can get it here: http://ddclient.sourceforge.net/.
- IPCheck has built in support for popular CABLE/DSL NAT routers. It works on OS/2 as well as most Unix's. Source code & documentation is here: http://zoneclient.sourceforge.net/. Python is required.
- From one of our customers: It's very easy to update the dynamic zoneedit entries on UNIX with either of these two command lines (if you have wget or lynx installed):
- lynx -source -auth=username:password 'http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?host=www.mydomain.com'
- wget -O - --http-user=username --http-passwd=password 'http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?host=www.mydomain.com'
- PPP users should place one of the above commands (or a perl client) in the file /etc/ppp/ip-up or /etc/ppp/ppp.linkup, which are called whenever a ppp connection is made.
- Users of dhcpcd may place these commands in the file /etc/dhcpc/dhcpcd-eth0.exe or /etc/dhcpc/dhcpcd-eth1.exe which are executed whenever a new dynamic IP address is acquired.
- Java Dynamic DNS Client for any platform. Runs as java servlet. Simple to handle. Configured for Tomcat.
- IPCheck works on OS/2 as well http://zoneclient.sourceforge.net/. It works on most platforms that have python installed.
- Here's a troubleshooter for Mac DynDNS setup.
- zedynip.pl: ZoneEdit PERL source code that can be used as a 'reference implementation' for a client or daemon.
18) How does the dynamic ip program work?
- The program:
- detects an ip change on your computer
- hits a web page
- the dynamic.html page detects the IP that the request came in on and updates the zone(s)
- the dynamic.html page also lowers the TTL for the zone(s) so that updates propagate quickly
19) How can I do dynamic DNS for round-robin A records?
- If you need dynamic DNS for a host which has multiple IP addresses (round-robin load sharing), then you must first find the internal ID for each address by doing a "view source" on the "IP Addresses" screen. You can then select which address you're updating by specifying the ID number in the update URL
- For maximum reliability, you should also configure website monitoring and failover service. This service will pull nonworking IP's from your cluster, allowing for greater reliability.
20) How do I configure ZoneEdit with my firewall/router?
- Many Cable/DSL routers and firewalls use NAT to hide your machine's IP from the internet. Dynamic DNS software can detect this, and/or have a special option of "getting the current IP from a web page". This URL returns your machines current IP: http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/checkip.html You can use it in your dynamic DNS software configuration. Some routers have built in support, and others can be modified to support it. This is preferable, since it doesn't require "polling".
21) What are the specs of the dynamic update request?
- Simply make a standard HTTP request:
- URL: http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html
- REQUIRES BASIC AUTHENTICATION
- REQUIRES PARAM: -> 'host' contains a comma-delimited list of hosts that have IP addresses. This parameter may be *.domain.com to update a wildcard A-record.
- OPTIONAL PARAM: 'dnsto' -> change to the IP specified instead of the client IP. This parameter may be 0.0.0.0 to force the domain offline.
- OPTIONAL SSL: https (SSL) may be used for added security, if needed.
- OPTIONAL PARAM: 'park=1' -> directs the hosts to the zoneedit parking server - and parks the domain with a default 'Be Right Back' page.
- EXAMPLE: http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?zones=myzone.com
- EXAMPLE: http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?host=mail.myzone.com&dnsto=188.8.131.52
- The response page returns the following information:
- <ERROR CODE="[701-799]" TEXT="Description of the error" ZONE="Zone that Failed">
- <SUCCESS CODE="[200-201]" TEXT="Description of the success" ZONE="Zone that Succeeded">
- Failure by the server to respond should be considered as "Error code 700, failed to respond for ALL zones".
22) What is DNS?
- DNS is the technology that ties text-based domain names to the numeric IP addresses that are necessary to locate the domain's server on the Internet.
23) Where can I learn more about DNS?
- The DNS Resources Directory is an excellent place to start and contains a good list of DNS information.
- ISC BIND is the standard in DNS server software and is distributed for free at isc.org.
- O'Reilly publishes DNS and Bind, an excellent book and the industry standard manual for understanding and using DNS.
24) How can I host multiple websites on one IP Address?
- You can set up as many domains as you want pointing to the same IP Address using DNS. Just keep adding zones, and setting the IP addresses. However, you need a web server that uses the 'host' header to route the different domains to different web instances.
- Apache Info: Using name-based Virtual Hosts
- Microsoft IIS Info: Using Host Header Names in IIS
25) My ISP blocked port 80. How can I run a web server?
- Make your web server listen on port number like "6000" or "5000"
- Check to see if your web server works in a browser by using a URL: http://184.108.40.206:6000/. Use the port number that you're listening on and the real IP address of your machine.
- Add the "IP Address" for your web server in ZoneEdit: "ww2.domainname.com" points to "ip address".
- Add a Web Forward entry for your domain called "www.domainname.com" that points to http://ww2.domainname:6000/
- We recommend turning cloaking off in this case, letting people know thay are going to http://ww2.domainname.com:6000 is usually OK, and it allows the browser to perform better.
26) How can I check to see if DNS is working?
- A frequent mistake is to use "ping" to test DNS. On Windows NT/2K and Unix, there are tools called "nslookup" and "dig".
- Before you contact ZoneEdit, you can check to see whether or not your registrar is pointing your domain to the correct nameservers. The "whois" information is often wrong, and should not be used. Go to a command prompt/console and enter the command: nslookup -type=NS yourdomainname.com
- If the response does not contain all of the correct name servers, then you should contact your registrar and have them fix it.
- To check to see whether a particular server is responding, you can add the server name: nslookup www.yourdomainname.com ns1.zoneedit.com
- If the response has a bunch of 'root-servers' that means the server does not know about the domain name and is referring you elsewhere.
- To look for a certain record type, like the "MX" record or the "SOA" record, you can use the parameter "-type=MX" or "-type=SOA". nslookup -type=MX yourdomainname.com - If you don't have access to "nslookup" or "dig", you can use our online DNS lookup tool instead. It works for all domain names - not just ZonEdit domains.
27) I set up an MX record and my mail doesn't work, why?
- The most common mistake is to set up an MX record without setting up an IP address for the mail host. (IE: mail.example.com is an MX record for example.com, but has no IP address) Our system tries to alert you to this before it happens.
- Another very frequent mistake is to point an MX record to a mail server that doesn't route mail for the domain yet, or keeps a separate user database for each destination domain.
- Before reaching the conclusion that DNS is responsible for your mail routing issues, it's a good idea to test your mail server independently of the DNS.
28) How can I backup/download my zone files?
- If you want to back up all ZoneEdit DNS data for a given zone, use named-xfer:
- named-xfer -z atreju.com -f atreju.com.txt ns1.zoneedit.com.
- On unix, "named-xfer" comes with most distributions, and it's easy to schedule a daily backup with cron.
29) What DNS record types does ZoneEdit support?
30) How many records can I create for my domain name?
- Each zone allows for the creation of up to 1000 records
31) What is an “A” record?
- An "A" record, also called an "address" record, ties a domain name to an IP address. If there is a server on the Internet that is configured to handle traffic for this domain, you can enter the name of the domain (like "www.ZoneEdit.com") and the IP address of the server (like "220.127.116.11"), and almost immediately, anyone surfing to that domain connects to the correct server.
32) Why can't I delete the "A" record for the root name of my domain?
- All domains must have an "A" record for the root of the domain. Omitting this "A" record may prevent some mail servers from delivering your email correctly. WebParking or WebForwarding the root of your domain is sufficient, because both of these create hidden "A" records pointing to our servers. If you're really looking to delete this record, try changing the IP address to "0.0.0.0" instead, it's functionally equivalent.
33) What is an “AAAA” Record?
- Whereas an “A” record is used for IPv4 addresses, an "AAAA" record ties a domain name to an IPv6 address in the same manner.
34) What is a "CNAME" record?
- "CNAME" records, short for "Canonical Name", create an alias from a domain name to another. You could create an alias from "yahoo.mydomain.com" to "www.yahoo.com", and every reference to "yahoo.mydomain.com" would go to the other location, regardless how yahoo changed their IP addresses! Be careful, however; CNAMEs won't work everywhere. If you create an MX record, and the name used for the mail server was defined using a CNAME, you might lose e-mail.
35) What is an "MX" record?
- "MX" (Mail Exchange) records are used to specify what server on the Internet is running e-mail software that is configured to handle e-mail for your domain. If you want your ISP to handle routing the e-mail for your domain to you, you need to specify the domain name or IP address of your ISP's mail server. In addition, you can specify the rank of each mail server when you have more than one. Make sure your ISP knows that you're using their servers to route your domain's email, or all your e-mail will "return to sender"! If you want to use our servers instead of your ISP's, don't specify any "MX" records, just configure our simple MailForward service.
36) What is a “NS” record?
- A “NS” record or Name Server record identifies an authoritative DNS server for a specific zone.
37) What is a “SRV” record?
- A “SRV” or Service Locator record is a general record that can be used in a generic fashion rather than creating protocol-specific records such as MX.
38) What is a WebForward?
- A WebForward creates a hidden "A" record pointing to our web server. When our web server gets a request for your site from a visitor, our web server is designed to forward the visitor to the URL of your choosing.
39) What is Cloaking?
- Cloaking is a special kind of WebForward. Just like a WebForward, cloaking creates a hidden "A" record pointing to our web server. However, when our web server gets a request for your site from a visitor, not only does our web server forward the visitor to the URL of your choosing, but an invisible frame is used to hide the destination URL. Your domain name stays in the location bar of your visitor's browser, thus "cloaking" the destination URL.
40) What is a MailForward?
- A MailForward creates a hidden "MX" record pointing to our email server. When we receive an email on your behalf, our email server is designed to forward the email to the address of your choosing. Expert tip: If you use "*" for the new email address (or just leave it blank), then all email going to your domain will get sent to the destination address, if it doesn't match another email address you've explicitly specified. Also, specifying the same new email address twice with different destinations will cause a copy of the email to get sent to both destinations.
41) How do I MailForward™ the same mailbox to multiple recipients?
- Specifying the same new email address twice with different destinations will cause a copy of the email to get sent to both destinations.