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Hosting DNS Priority

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Primary, Secondary Server Order

What’s the difference between Primary & Secondary DNS servers?

When you enter the DNS server names that your domain points to, they are listed as primary and secondary. For this entry, these names are not significant. You can if you want to enter the secondary as primary and vice-versa and your domain will still work correctly.

DNS server order in a Whois Record

The order in which DNS servers are listed in your domain’s whois record comes from a lookup with the root registry for your domain. The order the root registry will respond with is random. So, if you point your domain to ns1. as primary and ns2 as secondary, it will happen that the DNS will appear in reverse order in the whois record for your domain. While this can be confusing, it is normal.

DNS – Round-Robin

DNS queries are done in a round-robin fashion, meaning you don’t know in advance which server will be queried for information. If your domain is pointing to ns1.r4l.com and ns2.r4l.com (our servers) for example, then on average 50% of the time ns1 will get the first query, and 50% of the time ns2 will get the first query.

Where is Primary & Secondary defined?

Where primary and secondary is significant is in the configuration of the DNS for your domain on the DNS servers themselves. Changes to your DNS are done to the primary DNS server, and these changes are automatically picked up by secondary DNS servers your domain is pointing to.

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