Advanced DNS Essentials
Welcome to the Freeola Internet customer support pages. This guide is designed to help with changing the Advanced DNS settings for a Freeola hosted domain name. For more internet help topics please visit our main Support Page.
This is a basic guide to the terminologies used to control DNS and how to use this from your MyFreeola account. If you are using Freeola hosted email addresses and websites, you do not need to know or understand this guide, as we will set up and control DNS on your behalf.
There are many parts to a DNS record, but the primary ones are the A, CNAME and the MX records.
The A record simply controls which IP address a web browser will go to when a particular URL is entered. For example when you type freeola.com into your web browser, the DNS server will tell the web browser that it needs to connect to the IP address 188.8.131.52, to get its data.
A CNAME record is similar, but with a CNAME record rather than providing an IP address to point to you provide a hostname. For example if we wanted the hostname chat.freeola.com to use the same IP address as the hostname freeola.com we could set chat.freeola.com as having the CNAME entry freeola.com. The advantage of this over an A record is that if you change the IP address of the server that is hosting a CNAME you do not need to update anything other than the A record of the hostname that is changing simplifying administration.
To alter an A or CNAME record you will first need to login to your MyFreeola account.
Once you have logged in you will need to go to the View/Edit Domain Details section which will show you a list of the domain names that you control from within your Domain Name Portfolio.
Click on the Hosting & Settings button to the right of your domain name and you will go to a new page that allows you to control aspects of the domain name.
In order for us to control the DNS and for your changes to work the DNS servers must be pointed at the Freeola DNS servers, the Freeola domain name servers are ns3.freeola.net and ns4.freeola.net.
If your domain name servers are not already set to the Freeola default ones, you can do this by clicking on the Change DNS Servers option and then selecting Continue. On the next page you will see two boxes containing your current DNS servers simply click the box at the end and these will be replaced by the default Freeola servers. Please note that if you do change these to the default Freeola servers any services provided by the previous name servers will stop working.
To change the A or CNAME record of the primary hostnames is very straightforward, on the same screen where you selected Change DNS Servers select the option Change DNS Records. Now select the option Create/Modify Custom Web DNS Records and continue. Select Edit from the next menu on the hostname you want to change and you will be asked for the IP address. For technical reasons you will not be able to set a CNAME for your domain name only for your subdomains. This means that in the example above you can have a CNAME for www.freeolaexampledomain.co.uk but not for freeolaexampledomain.co.uk. DNS servers control where the various programs that use the internet look for information.
To add a subdomain is very simple, simply select the option Edit Subdomains and then select continue on the next page, you will then get a option to both add or edit any existing subdomains. Please note that the system will not automatically add the www prefix on a subdomain, if you want to have a subdomain with a www prefix and one without you will have to add them both.
You also have the option to change your MX records, this allows you to control how your email is delivered. If you run or have access to your own email server(s) you can specify that all mail for your domain is delivered to a IP address (or pair of IP addresses). This means that you can for example set up a Microsoft Exchange server and run your own email. To change the MX records, select the option Create/Modify MX records and select continue. On the next screen you will get the option to Edit the current settings, and you will see a list of four numbered boxes. The MX servers will be used in turn, ie MX1 will have the highest priority, MX4 will have the lowest priority. If you have only one server then you can simply specify the first one and select submit, however please note that if that server is not available then you may lose messages depending on the settings of the sending server. It is therefore recommended that you specify at least two MX servers.
Please note that if you do want to host a website or run your own email server on your Freeola Broadband connection, there are a number of things to remember:
Your website will only show while your computer and router/modem are turned on and connected to the internet.
Any data transferred to or from your computer counts in your usage allowance.
You will need to be running web or email server software on your computer (such as Apache for websites or Postfix for email).
If you are using a router or firewall you will need to forward port 80 for web or port 25 for email from your router to your computer and allow it through any firewalls you are using.
You are making your connection less secure by running additional software, so be careful about how much access you allow and make sure that you keep your computer up to date with patches.
If you turn your computer off the services the computer is running will no longer be available, with a web server this means that your website will no longer be visible. With emails, your emails will no longer be picked up and may end up bouncing.
If your connection is serving websites, it will use a substantial portion of your upstream bandwidth, so you may wish to consider switching to a VIP broadband product where upstream bandwidth can be up to 832kb rather than the usual 448kb offered by standard broadband. To regrade log into your MyFreeola account and click on Broadband Details and Usage, then click on Change Tariff to see a list of the options available. You can also check the other benefits of Freeola VIP Broadband here.
Freeola support will not provide support in running your third party software or configuring your firewall, we can however provide support on pointing your DNS records and configuring your broadband connection.
Please note that we do not block any ports with Freeola broadband, you can use any ports including port 25 and 80 if you want to host webservers or email servers.