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DNS Überblick/en



Nameservers are responsible for converting Internet domain names to IP addresses. This is referred to as the Domain Name System.

The purpose of this article is to explain how the Domain Name System (DNS) works and to assist with the administration of domains registered via Hetzner.

The difference between "domain" and "zone" in DNS

The term "domain" describes the entire logical sequence of the name; a domain can also comprise one or several subordinate domains. The domain "technik.grossefirma.de" belongs to the domain "grossefirma.de", which in turn belongs to the "de" domain. Several nameservers are associated with this domain structure.

The term "zone" designates an enclosed area in the domain structure, which is independently managed by a primary nameserver and without the help of any other nameservers. A zone mostly comprises one domain only and does not contain any other zones. The nameserver manages a zone in the zone file. It includes information on the individual hosts or the nameservers responsible for subordinate domains.



How domain "delegation" works: DNS Delegation
"Sender Policy Framework" (SPF) in brief: DNS SPF
Reverse DNS Entries (PTR records): Reverse DNS


Structure of a zone file: DNS Zone File
Creating a DNS entry via the DNS Console: DNS Console
Domain query procedure: DNS name server queries

DNS Server Checks

The following websites are free-of-charge and allow DNS servers to be checked for correct data:

Frequent Questions (FAQs)

Which nameservers should I use in my server configuration?

  • You can set up your own resolver.
  • A list of the official Hetzner nameservers can be found in the following article Hetzner Standard Name Server.

Which nameservers can I use for my domains?

I have used the "Slave DNS Entry" option, but the secondary nameserver has not accepted the changes

  • It is possible that the serial number in the zone SOA Record has not been increased.
  • The secondary will only accept changes from the primary nameserver in the "Refresh Interval" mentioned in the SOA Record.

MX or CNAME Record hostnames do not work

It is possible that the period at the end of the zone file entry has been omitted:

ftp      IN CNAME  ftp.andererserver.de

Here the host name would resolve to ftp.andererserver.de.IhreDomain.de. The following entry is correct:

ftp      IN CNAME  ftp.andererserver.de.

Is "www" in "www.meinedomain.de" now a subdomain or a hostname?

If a "www" or "www.meinedomain.de NS entry has not been entered into the zone file for the zone, this is clearly a hostname.

Which software can be used to operate an own DNS server?

The most well-known software for UNIX-based systems is probably BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), lesser-known is NSD (Name Server Daemon) or djbdns (D. J. Bernstein DNS) for example.

Windows offers integrated Microsoft DNS servers in their server variants for Windows systems, or, at additional cost, Simple DNS.

A further alternative which is free-of-charge and can be run on current UNIX systems and OS X, is PowerDNS. Unlike most other DNS daemons, PowerDNS uses a database system (MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle are supported), in order to access the zone; zones are instantly updated without restarting PowerDNS. Supermaster/Slave support makes it easier to administer a large number of zones from another server.

With Hetzner, own nameservers do not need to be installed. DNS entries can be created and changed via the Nameserver Robot.

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