Cheap/Free DNS Service Suggestions?

I need a cheap or free dns service like cloudflare. (i don’t use cloudflare proxy)

I have some vps and i use cloudflare to point domains to my ip’s, now i’m looking for a alternative wich allows me setup all my domains with a single dns and provides a control panel to manage domain entries.

Creating my own dns server it’s not a solution for me, i prefer use third party services.

I tried namecheap FreeDNS but domain authorization process does not work for me, i need something wich needs just to update domain nameservers.

You can just use Cloudflare DNS and disable proxy. Just click the orange cloud to make it gray. I personally host all my domains on CF (just one on Porkbun). Alternatively, CloudNS has a free tier so you can check them out too.

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How many domains are you talking about and how many lookups?

  • Personally I’ve found HE’s free service (https://dns.he.net) to be fast and reliable, and is probably my first choice.
  • If you have below 50 RR’s and 500k/month, then NS1’s free plan gives you serious features like API and GeoDNS, but you will get seriously reamed if you go above the limit (like $8/million lookups).
  • Zilore gives you anycast servers and a high traffic limit, but no API or GeoDNS and only 5 domains in the free tier.
  • AWS Route 53 is reliable and lookup PAYG rates are cheap, but the per-domain charge makes it not so good if your lookups are spread across many domains.
  • Oracle Cloud DNS is not part of their free tier, but I’ve actually found it to be very good. Lookup speeds are excellent and there’s no monthly per-domain charge, just pay for lookups at something like $0.85/million which in many cases works out to a few pennies per month. You also get API access, but health checks kind of suck at $0.30 per endpoint per month (OK if you’ve got one or two, but it adds up fast if you’ve got many).
  • If you have an account with LunaNode, they have a free DNS service which isn’t bad, but the NS are in Canada & France with no anycast. But free and has health checks and GeoDNS.

Note that you can also use combinations of the above, for example if you like the interface of NS1 but don’t like the traffic limits, then you can use NS1 as a hidden master and HE.net as the slave which is published in your NS records.

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You can check the performance and uptime of most providers at https://www.dnsperf.com/

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Stick with either of these two providers and you’ll be a happy puppy :wink:

https://dnsimple.com/pricing

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Do you use the paid tier of NS1? Upgrading to a paid plan in the $45/month range is way beyond my low-end budget, 50 RR’s is nowhere near enough for all my stuff, and I’m using 400k of the 500k limit for just one of my subdomains.

Don’t get me wrong, I love NS1 and use it myself for my most important things. I recently spent a few hours integrating Uptime Robot health checks into the NS1 platform, which shows how flexible their platform is. But moving to a paid plan? Nah.

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Get a few cheap KVM’s with AntiDDoS and run a dns service on them.
https://clients.hostsailor.com/cart.php?a=add&pid=447

Sadly already OOS, was a 256MB KVM with v4 for 6$/y.
Also BF is over so, most likely you stuck with Free DNS providers such as Zilore.

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Regarding dns.he.net, I think they still do that thing where their servers stop returning queries for your domain if they don’t detect your nameservers as being pointed to them(?)
Ref. comment by @Jarland in old thread/topic here.

Pricing? More pros/cons/features? :slight_smile:

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Yeah, it means downtime to switch to them because there will inevitably be a stage where they don’t detect it yet someone else does, so their system queries HE and gets nothing in return. Not so bad if starting there, but rough if moving production to it.

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I use HE as secondary with a hidden master and don’t recall this problem, but possible my memory is faulty.

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Created a wiki for doing this: Connecting Uptime Robot with NS1 DNS API

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I used the free DNSmanager.io by HostIO for a while, really nice product, I especially liked the templating. They just moved away from free to a price model that’s quite fair, but didn’t match my scenario (up to 10 domains €14.90/yr, €49 for 100, IIRC).

I have now moved some domains to FreeDNS by 1984hosting.com. It seems like a really nice service. UI not as polished as DNSmanager, but still quite nice. They’re free, but commercial support is $49/yr. Setting up DNSSEC was nice and automated. They also offer HTTP redirects. FreeDNS also had funny error messages, like “Poo poo characters in hostname” … :laughing:

I’ve also been testing dynu.com (also quite nice, a bit different UI, kinda focused on dynamic DNS). Free plan is 4 hostnames (sort of *.domain.tld, except subdomain). Paid plan is $9.99/yr for 50.

www.GeoScaling.com also seems nice, and has some handy import/cloning options (for https use secure.geoscaling.com, IPv6 only). This has some unique features, maybe I’ll switch to using these more. :thinking:
Very responsive and friendly support. Free, open for donations. :slight_smile:

None of these offer ANAME / ALIAS / “flattened CNAME” for the main host (mydomain.tld), I think.

Maybe you ask, why not CloudFlare? Good question, and I don’t know, really. Kinda considering them for some CDN/proxying, free and good performance. Only argument against would be that they already own too much of the Internet? (Though they don’t seem to he bad guys, Google and others seem “worse”?) Also, I’ve always liked the smaller companies … :innocent:

I’m open to other cheap/lowend/free CDN/proxy suggestions.
(Am using Netlify, but free plan seems a bit slow in my tests.)

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Hetzner offers free authoritative DNS even for non customers, but not anycast.
Vultr offers free DNS too, and it’s anycast but not very full featured (for example. no ALIAS).
Netlify offers unlimited NS1 for free, which should be great if you trust VC backed companies.
Rage4 is cheap, but they deleted my grandfathered account without notice, so I’d avoid them.

Other providers which I wouldn’t use but could be ok for others.
DNSPod is very big and free, if you don’t care about the owner (Tencent)
DNS4.PRO was associated with Prometeus a long time ago, but not anymore (I guess).
Many cloud providers offer free DNS, but most of them as an afterthought, so I’m not listing those.

And finally, secondary old-school services which have been around for two decades:
PUCK Free Secondary DNS - single NS in the US
Trifle NS2 - single NS in Ukraine since 1998
Twisted4Life - single NS in Malasia. abandoned, wouldn’t use it

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Didn’t know Netlify DNS was free. Still some limitations (subdomains or something not supported IIRC).

Hetzner is nice, but geographically not spread very well yet. And not DNSSEC (or ANAME).

I thought Vultr was free only for active customers, if I’m wrong, good. :slight_smile:

Any reason to not trust DNSPod/Tencent? (I don’t know them.) Looking at their website, kinda hard to tell the pricing model, looks like it’s free if you use them as registrar. They certainly don’t flash the words “Free DNS” too much … :wink:

DNS4.Pro seems to be 5 domains free.

DNSimple is a nobrainer for $5/mth for 5 domains, and $0.50 for each added domain.

$7/yr max :innocent: :laughing:

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from DNSimple pricing page :
Save $10 when billed yearly.

Still $50/yr for 5 doms… but quite decent specs, almost on par with CF.

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Tencent is a very big Chinese conglomerate with a stack in a lot of Chinese and international IT companies. DNSPod is completely free, at least the international version.

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I use ClouDNS for some of my stuff, it’s pretty cheap (unlimited queries are nice) and it has a workable API.
HOWEVER their anycast sucks (seems they have no idea what they’re doing) and I’d avoid using their CNAME flattening feature, it’s horribly broken. Trying to combine it with Bunny results in pretty much everyone getting routed to Amsterdam… but I guess that might be a result of the anycast being broken as well.

@Jarland still happy with ClouDNS?