EveryDNS Review

EveryDNS was founded in June 2001 by DNS expert David Ulevitch, providing free DNS services to the Internet community. From their website:

We provide static DNS services as well as many advanced services such as Dynamic DNS resolution, Secondary service, AXFR service, and domain2web redirection. Of course, our primary service is free DNS.

New sign ups can get 20 domains and 200 records hosted for free. If you support them with once-off donation, these limitation will be lifted. EveryDNS currently hosts 92,000+ domains and 250,000+ records at the time of writing — that certainly marks them one of the biggest free DNS providers on the Internet.

EveryDNS Home Page I have been using EveryDNS since late 2002 when I launched a blog service for church friends. Since then I have been a very happy user and currently have three domains hosted on their DNS.

They have 4 servers in 4 different locations to provide great redundancy. Backend was developed with DJB’s TinyDNS, Perl and MySQL. Have I mentioned that EveryDNS was funded by David Ulevitch of the OpenDNS fame? He is someone who cares about stopping the bad guys from abusing the DNS system, and someone you can trust your domain name hosting with.

Being a popular host of free services, they did have a few issues over the years. They has been DDoS’ed (not their fault), registry entry hacked (stupid registrar!) and SQL injection exploit discovered (which they fix under 24 hours). Not bad for a free service.

User Interface

EveryDNS Editing Page Signing up with EveryDNS is easy — because they probably have one of the most simplistic user interface. Put in your username, email address and password, and you are ready to go.

When you log in you will be presented with your domains on the left column, and options to add new domains. You can either add primary domains (“basic”) or other advanced options like secondary, dynamic and “webhop” domains, where it does web forwarding for you.

Once a domain has been created or selected, right column will be populated with records associated with that domain. You can delete existing records, add new records or set up AXFR (Asynchronous Full Transfer Zone) options.

Adding records is easy. Fill in the FQDN, record type, value, TTL and in the case of MX records the priority, hit “Add Record” and it gets added into the database. Usually the new records will appear in ns1.everydns.net within a few seconds, and will be propagated to other NS pretty soon afterwards.

Extra Features

EveryDNS can act as secondary NS, or as primary NS with another DNS server acting as secondary NS. These are useful if you wish to provide redundancy by utilising other DNS servers not part of EveryDNS. It also supports dynamic DNS, which you can change A record of one of your domains dynamically. A Perl script or Windows executable are provided for this functionality.

It also supports “webhop” which is just web forwarding.

Extra functionality in EveryDNS is a bit limited. There is also some limitation on TTL value (minimum is 120 seconds even for donating users) and record type (only the most basic is supported). However, these should not affect you using EveryDNS to set up websites and mail servers.

There is however a PHP API for EveryDNS, so you can program your own front end with it.

DNS Servers

EveryDNS has 4 servers (ns{1,2,3,4}.everydns.net), 3 in US and 1 in Europe. From their home page:

NS1 is in San Diego, while NS2 is in San Jose, NS3 is in the Netherlands, and NS4 is in Washington, D.C.

There is also a map showing where EveryDNS’s servers are.

Summary

Name: EveryDNS
Server Locations: San Diego (US), San Jose (US), Netherlands, Washington DC (US)
Servers per Zone: 4
Free Domains: 20
Free Records: 200
Record Types: A, CNAME, MX, NS, TXT
Min. TTL: 120 seconds (only with donation)
AXFR: Yes (IP)
Secondary NS: Yes
Dynamic Domain: Yes
Web Forward: Yes (Redirect)
Mail Forward: No
Secondary MX: No

Conclusion

I highly recommend EveryDNS’s service. Besides unbeatable price, it has 4 geographical diversified servers providing great redundancy. Basic set of features, and “enough” domains and records. Moreover, I trust David U with his experience in managing domain name servers.

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