How To Setup Private Nameservers

When you sign up for any web hosting account, you’ll usually get a set of nameservers to use in your welcome email. Nameservers usually come in the format, Have you heard about private nameservers though? I actually had not until I signed up for my KnownHost VPS account. So what are they and what are they used for? In this short post, I wanted to give you all a quick tutorial on how to setup private nameservers for yourself.

What are Private Namservers

Private namservers are typically mostly used by web hosting resellers. So if I wanted to use this domain for private nameservers, I could register:

As a webhosting reseller, this is essential for branding purposes. Plus it looks way more professional. You can’t expect to be taken seriously as a webhost when you give your customers Hostgator nameservers to use, right? If you are not a reseller, the fact the private nameservers hide what web hosting you use from prying eyes can be a useful benefit as well.

There’s also another more subtle advantage to using private namservers. If you ever decide to switch web hosts, you won’t have to contact your customers and tell them to switch nameservers. Instead, once you switch the IP address of your private nameservers, your clients will automatically get moved over without any intervention on their part. This is actually not an uncommon situation, as many resellers often upgrade to better hosting provides (VPS and dedicated) as demand for their services grows.

How To Setup Your Private Nameserver

Setting up your private nameservers is done inside your domain registrar. The process is quite simple, but how you do it depends on what domain registrar the domain name you want to use is at. Below, I will show you how to setup your private nameservers using Namecheap.

Register Private Nameservers with Namecheap

  1. First, login to your Namecheap account.
  2. Click on Manage Domains and select the domain you want to use for your private nameservers.
  3. Click on Nameserver Registration under Advanced Options on the left menu.
  4. Enter the IP addresses (from your web host) for ns1 and ns2 and click Add Nameservers.
  5. NameCheap Modify Domain

Once you have your nameserver registered, you may need to create an A record for them in your domain name zone file. In cPanel, go to the DNS or Zone Management menu and change it there. With KnownHost though, this was done for me automatically.

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