What is a nameserver?

A nameserver is a server on the web that has DNS software installed. It’s where you manage all of your DNS records and set what your web or email host is. Kind of like the post office, which sorts and routes all of the mail, except instead it's directing computers to your website or sending your emails to you.

This is how you determine where visitors who enter your domain name or URL into a browser will be sent. Or how your email will get routed, using records like A, CNAME, MX, TXT, etc.

If your domain is registered with us, we automatically set the nameservers to ours:


This means you are able to manage your DNS records for website or email hosting using our domains dashboard. You can set up records to point to multiple websites or email.

If you change the nameservers to another hosting provider, it means that computers looking for your website or email have to ask that host where to find them, rather than us. When external hosting is used, any DNS records in your iwantmyname dashboard would need to be added in your hosting account, as our DNS management is deactivated when the nameservers are changed.

One reason to use an external hosting provider is if you want to install and work with your own software for your website or email, like WordPress, Javascript, SSL certificates, etc. We do not provide hosting, so cannot store such software for you.

When you add or change DNS records or nameservers, it takes a few hours to a couple of days for changes to spread around the internet, or propagate. It depends on the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) between your computer and hosting company.

Find more information in our guide: What is DNS? Here's what you need to know.


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