Name servers VS A Record (IP)

August 19, 2014 1.4k views


I was hoping to get your thoughts on pros and cons using name servers or A-Record.

If pointing domains to Digital Ocean's name servers and using this tutorial then I can control my clients MX-record and change the IP (as long as my clients are using Digital Ocean's name servers) incase I need to move my droplet. This is very smart and helps remove a lot of eh?? from my clients. They just need to set it once and that is it.

What are the downside of doing it this way? I believe it is faster (no NS look-up) when pointing domain to a-record directly from the registrar. Am I correct in believing that?

Besides speed what are the pros/cons of using name servers instead of A-record?

Thanks for your feedback.

1 Answer

There's no real difference. When you set up an A record with your domain registrar, you are simply using their nameserver. When you use the DigitalOcean nameserver, you still create a DNS A record in order to point the domain to the IP address.

The DigitalOcean DNS service is simply provided as a convenience for users to control their domain records and servers in the same place. If you're happy with using the DNS service provided by your registrar, then there is no pressing reason to change.

You might want to check out the tutorial "An Introduction to DNS Terminology, Components, and Concepts" which is part of the series "An Introduction to Managing DNS."

by Justin Ellingwood
DNS, or the Domain Name System, is an integral part of how the internet functions today. However, the way that DNS works is often quite mysterious for new administrators. In this guide, we will discuss some of the common terminology and concepts that are involved in DNS configuration.
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