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What Are Vanity Name Servers?

Anthony Eden's profile picture Anthony Eden

What Are Vanity Name Servers?

Vanity name servers allow you to create name servers that reflect your organization. For example, when you want to point a domain to DNSimple you will use DNSimple name servers:

With vanity name servers, you can point a domain to DNSimple using your custom names such as:

They keep uniformity throughout your DNS records, and customize the WHOIS information for your domain.

Using vanity name servers has more advantages when you have a large number of domains. DNSimple offers vanity name servers on our Business plans and higher.

High-tech branding

For large organizations, resellers, and enterprises, the value is clear. Vanity name servers extend your branding to your technology stack. And if you host content for users, vanity name servers let you look professional when handing out target name servers, while still using our hosting service.

But they don't just ensure your name servers reflect your organization, they can also save you time and headaches.

Simple automation & security

When you have hundreds or thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of domains that need to re-delegate, it's more practical to use vanity name servers to make a single IP change at the name server level (instead of one change per domain). This allows you to automatically convert customers to a new platform in a single action.

For some domains, they're a requirement to ensure all technical security demands are met. As an example, vanity name servers are required by the registry in order to operate .BANK domains and .INSURANCE domains, because they help guarantee users' security.

It's important to note that vanity name servers are not custom or private - they're a mask in front of DNSimple's name servers. Private servers require a custom server with their own IP address or a Virtual Private Server (VPS). You'd also have to self-manage your DNS.

Vanity name servers are the perfect solution for when you want your servers to appear branded, but still use a DNS hosting provider. That's why DNSimple has been offering them since 2011.

How do I set up vanity name servers?

Because vanity name servers create name servers based on your domain name but still use DNSimple's IP addresses, they appear like they're under one of your domains (for example: ns1.mydomain.com, instead of ns1.dnsimple.com through ns4.dnsimple.com). You can use any DNSimple-hosted domain name that you want for the name servers.

Vanity Name Servers

To add vanity name servers to your domain, visit the DNSimple dashboard and click on your domain. Click on the "DNS" tab, find the "Vanity name servers" card, and click "Enable". The correct records will be automatically added to the domain. For a more in-depth explanation, we've got this handy support article.

This feature is also fully supported in our API. The vanity name server API endpoints allows you to enable and disable the feature for a domain, the delegate and de-delegate API endpoints allows you to delegate a domain you registered in DNSimple to the appropriate vanity name servers. The vanity name server APIs enable you to integrate this feature into your application and fully automate the provisioning of domains under your branding, using your preferred programming language.

We like to make things as simple as possible (hey, it's in our name). So if your domain is registered with DNSimple, we'll automatically insert the appropriate records in the domain registry and the DNSimple system.

If your domain isn't registered with us yet, you'll need to change the domain's name servers at your current registrar. You can contact support if you need assistance with that. We're always happy to help.

Wondering if vanity name servers are a good choice for your domains? We've got answers. Drop us a line at. We'll help you make the best choice for your setup.

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Anthony Eden's profile picture

Anthony Eden

I break things so Simone continues to have plenty to do. I occasionally have useful ideas, like building a domain and DNS provider that doesn't suck.