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Welcome to NS1’s documentation! In our newly formatted Knowledge Base you’ll find helpful articles related to NS1’s products. Use the sidebar to navigate through our support documentation.

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Getting Started

New Users Guide

So, you're a new user here at NS1 and may have never managed your own DNS before. No worries, the process is actually quite simple. While a series of advanced features are available to dive into later, getting your domain online and hosted to the public internet can be completed in a few short ste... Continue Reading

Creating an Account

Creating a new account with NS1 is quick and easy. Click here to see our available service plans. To sign up for a Managed DNS Developer Edition account: Navigate to our signup page. Enter in your name, your username, and your email address.Select Create AccountOn the next page, enter your payme... Continue Reading


Upgrading Your Account

You can find out which type of plan you currently have with NS1 by navigating to the Billing section under the Account drop-down. The Usage and Limits section provides details on your current plan. Click the Contact us button to request a plan change. A representative from NS1 will be in touch short... Continue Reading

Monitoring Your Usage

Dashboard Users with account permissions can view the Usage statistics in the main dashboard including records, filter chains, monitors and queries. Portal v2 opens to this page by default and you can always navigate back by clicking the NS1 logo in the top left corner. Billing These details c... Continue Reading

Refund Policy

We're deeply committed to customer satisfaction, and we have an accommodating refund policy that shows it. Excluding custom contracts, if you write in to request a refund within 5 days of making any form of payment through our website, you will get a full refund — no hassle.... Continue Reading

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your contract please contact us at least 7 business days prior to the end of your billing cycle. You can email [email protected] from an authorized email account or call us at 1-855-GET-NSONE (1-855-438-6766). After cancellation, you may see an additional invoice from us for any unpaid amou... Continue Reading

View Invoice Archive

You can review and download PDF copies of your historical invoices from within the NS1 customer portal if you have the necessary permissions. Once logged in, navigate to the Account drop-down menu and click on Billing. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Your Invoices section. ... Continue Reading

Settings & Users

Creating and Managing Users

NS1 allows you to control user access permissions with fine granularity. To begin, log in to the NS1 customer portal, click on the top-right drop-down menu and select Account Settings > Users & Teams. Open tab Users to add or remove users and configure permissions. Adding or removing users ... Continue Reading

Creating and Managing Teams

Creating teams User permissions can be set in bulk under the Teams section. Admins can build permission schemes specific to team needs and then apply those to individual users and API keys. This eliminates the need to manually set permissions for all of your users. Simply click on the Add Team butt... Continue Reading

Creating and Managing API Keys

Adding or removing an API key API keys function just like users in the NS1 portal. To add an API key, simply scroll down to the bottom of the Settings & Users page and click on the Add Key button. To remove a key, click on the trash can next to the associated API key. This will result in a pop up... Continue Reading

Unable to Locate Section or Zone

If you are expecting to find a section or DNS zone in the NS1 portal and are unable to locate, it is likely your access has been restricted by your account administrator. Please contact the admin for your account to request permission to the section or zone in question.... Continue Reading

IP Whitelists

Overview In an effort to give NS1 customers an added layer of account security, we have released IP Whitelisting functionality for our management portal and API. This new feature lives in the Users & Teams of Portal v2 under the Account > Account Settings drop-down menu. API documentation has be... Continue Reading

Single Sign On (SSO) Authentication

NS1 supports SAML 2.0 Single Sign On (SSO) authentication for the management portal. SSO is a form of access control that lets users login to services and applications using a single source of authentication. SSO functionality is currently only available to NS1 Enterprise customers. Th... Continue Reading


Enabling Two-Factor Authentication

NS1 supports Two-Factor authentication with TOTP for secure access to our portal. Our TOTP authentication works with Google Authenticator or another TOTP app on your smartphone or other device. Before enabling Two-factor authentication on your NS1 account, you should make sure you have Authenticator... Continue Reading

Resetting Your Password

Forgot your password? Request a new password by navigating to and entering your username. A link to create a new password will be sent to your email. If you can't remember your username, contact [email protected] from the email address associated with your accou... Continue Reading

Password & Session Management

NS1 is now offering advanced password and session management protocols to strengthen account security. This Knowledge Base article provides an overview of these changes and includes instructions for enabling new features where applicable. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. Password ... Continue Reading

Customer Resources

NS1 DNS Glossary

DNS can be confusing in its own right and when you start to unlock truly advanced DNS capabilities with NS1, there are even more concepts to wrap your head around. We've built out a glossary that includes some of the more commonly used industry terms. DNS DNS is the Domain Name System. Very simp... Continue Reading

Delegating a Domain to NS1

The final step to making your NS1 DNS records live is to update your domain registrar with the nameservers that will be authoritative for your domain. Make sure you are confident that your zone and it’s accompanying DNS records are properly configured in your NS1 account and then follow the instruc... Continue Reading

External Tools

Tools such as can be great for spot checking your DNS geolocation accuracy, however you may occasionally run into results that do not route as expected. This generally happens when the website's test endpoint is using a resolver that is located in another region than the... Continue Reading

Managed DNS for China

NS1 offers the only Managed DNS network in mainland China with full support for state-of-the-art traffic management and native synchronization with the advanced features of NS1’s user portal. By using Managed DNS for China we are able to offer faster DNS response times and improved application perf... Continue Reading

Nameserver Acceleration For China

Global companies serving the China market are often forced to deploy a domain specifically for the market - typically a .cn domain for China and a .com or .net for the rest of the world. NS1’s exclusive Nameserver Acceleration for China product obviates the need for global enterprises to deploy a se... Continue Reading

Sticky Filters

The NS1 filter chain supports several types of “STICKY” filters: STICKY_SHUFFLE, GROUP_STICKY_SHUFFLE, and WEIGHTED_STICKY_SHUFFLE. The goal of the STICKY family of filters is to distribute traffic across multiple answers while ensuring DNS queries from the same source IP address are handled in a c... Continue Reading

API Rate Limiting

Like all modern web platforms, NS1 employs rate limiting to control the number of API calls users can issue to the platform over a given period of time. Doing so allows us to distribute resources equitably amongst users and allows us to protect the platform. NS1’s implementation is quite flexible a... Continue Reading

The NS1 App for Grafana

We know many of our customers run mission-critical infrastructure and deeply care about the performance and health of their applications. That's why we've formed a partnership with Raintank on a brand new Grafana app for displaying and monitoring all of your NS1 data. Grafana is a widely used o... Continue Reading

Support for Squarespace Customers

Although NS1 is a DNS provider for many domains purchased through Squarespace, we cannot make DNS related changes on behalf of Squarespace customers. Please contact Squarespace directly for information regarding your domain. If you registered your domain through Squarespace, you can access its Adv... Continue Reading

DNS Pools Explained

NS1’s excellent DNS performance is due, in part, to our distribution of customer zones across 10 different pools, or groups, of authoritative nameservers. NS1 currently employs a striping policy among nameserver pools. Upon initial creation, a zone will be automatically assigned to a network pool ... Continue Reading

DNS Troubleshooting with Windows

The primary means for querying DNS servers from a Windows system is the command line tool nslookup. To launch the nslookup utility: Step 1 Go to the bottom of the Start Menu. Step 2 Enter cmd to open a command prompt. Step 3 Enter nslookup in the ... Continue Reading


Terraform is a cloud-centric multi-provider configuration manager. This tool allows you to configure ‘DNS as code’ infrastructure to sync record and zone configurations across multiple DNS providers. It makes it possible to store the entire configuration and deployment operation for a DNS infrastruc... Continue Reading


OctoDNS is open source software used to implement ‘DNS as code’ infrastructure. It is most often used as a middleware to keep multiple DNS configurations in sync between two different providers. OctoDNS allows users to store their DNS configurations inside of YAML configuration files and deploy cha... Continue Reading


The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) are a series of additions to standard DNS functionality. Due to the decentralized and hierarchical nature of DNS it is possible for a malicious actor to modify (or ‘poison’) the cached answer of a recursive DNS resolver. An attacker could redirect ... Continue Reading


Pulsar is a routing engine that’s driven by RUM (Real User Monitoring) and other performance measurements of CDNs, public clouds, and private data centers to optimize traffic decisions in real time. The goal is to ensure end users are unaffected by localized issues and are instead routed via the opt... Continue Reading

Pulsar Stabilization

The Pulsar Stabilization filter is a feature of NS1’s Pulsar offering that delivers greater control over dynamic routing decisions. By utilizing real time telemetry data, Pulsar can operate in two modes. The first leverages the original Pulsar filter to sort answers from “best” to “worst” by the cho... Continue Reading

Pulsar Performance Data & Decisions

Pulsar’s data visualizations allow you to view and compare the performance and availability of your resources as well as the routing decisions that Pulsar has made based off the performance data. Performance By Location Performance by location allows you to narrow comparisons of your resources (... Continue Reading

Pulsar Record Creation & Filter Metadata

Configuring Pulsar in the NS1 filter chain is in practice very similar to our other filter options. Step 1 Add the Pulsar filter into your record’s filter chain. Note: The Pulsar filter is often placed directly after another sorting filter to ensure that the behavior will fail over to a different ... Continue Reading

Basic Zone Configuration

Adding Records To a Zone

Adding new records to your zones is a quick and easy process. Once you have created a zone, navigate to the zone’s page and select “Add Record” on the left hand side of the portal. Choose the type of record to create from the drop down menu on the upper left side of the portal and fill in the rem... Continue Reading

Creating a Zone

It's easy to set up a new DNS zone from scratch in the NS1 portal. First, though, confirm you don't have the ability to get a zone file, which can save some effort. Navigate over to the Zones section of the NS1 portal, and click "Add Zone", then pick "Normal Setup". Enter your domain name. If nec... Continue Reading

Importing Zone Files

We try to make the process of moving your DNS over to NS1 as easy and painless as possible. If your current DNS provider allows you to export zones in the commonly used zone file format, then you can simply click on "+ Add Zone" in the NS1 portal and choose to import from your zone file. For a detai... Continue Reading

Advanced Zone Configuration

Configuring Zones for Dedicated DNS Networks

If you have purchased NS1's Dedicated DNS product, your zones can be served by either NS1's Managed DNS Network, or your dedicated network, or both. You can easily configure which networks are serving your zones by following these steps. Open the zone you wish to update and click on the Zone Settin... Continue Reading

Reverse DNS Zones

You can easily host reverse DNS with NS1 for both IPv4 and IPv6 subnets. To configure reverse DNS for an IPv4 subnet, you need to create a new reverse zone for the subnet. Suppose you want to host reverse DNS for the subnet: Create a zone with the domain With... Continue Reading

Linked Zones

It's common to have multiple DNS zones where one zone is a "vanity domain" for a "real" zone. For example, if your main zone is example.web, you may also purchase to serve the same content. In this case, you want any records created in example.web to also be available under -- ... Continue Reading

Secondary Zones

You can use NS1 as a secondary DNS provider, slaved to your primary DNS server. To configure a secondary zone, you must already have a primary DNS provider or server, and your primary server must allow AXFR queries over TCP for our server IPs. You will not be able to use the advanced functionality ... Continue Reading

Slaving from NS1

You can use NS1 as a primary DNS provider, with another provider or DNS server configured as a slave, pulling your zones from NS1. To configure primary DNS in NS1, you need to know the IP addresses of your slave servers. Then, in the NS1 Portal, navigate to the zone you want to slave and click on ... Continue Reading

Sync to an ISC DHCP Server

All IP devices need addresses, and ISC DHCP is the classic way to provide them. ISC DHCP is open source software that implements the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for connection to an IP network. It offers a complete solution for implementing DHCP servers, relay agents, and clients for small l... Continue Reading

Secondary Zones FAQ

NS1 allows users to employ primary/secondary zone configurations with other DNS providers. Introducing redundancy amongst providers eliminates a single point of failure situation. When setting up secondary zones in NS1 there are quite a few steps to complete in order to ensure zones are transferred ... Continue Reading

Enabling TSIG Authentication

NS1 offers authentication using TSIG (Transaction Signature) when being used as a secondary zone. This feature is currently exclusive to the V2 Portal platform. Configuring A Secondary Zone (Enact the first 5 steps from this article ) Enabling TSIG Befo... Continue Reading

Basic Record Configuration

Testing Your DNS Records

You have imported or manually configured a DNS zone and set up a bunch of records. Before you transition your production traffic to NS1's nameservers, you want to do some DNS lookups to confirm everything is working as expected. Here's how: If you are using a Linux or Unix OS, you can do DNS look... Continue Reading

NS Records

NS records are usually set with your registrar, and are used to delegate a domain or subdomain to a set of name servers. Name servers, such as NS1, hold all the other DNS records for your domain and tell all the other computers connected to the Internet what records your domain holds. Setting the NS... Continue Reading

CNAME, ALIAS, and Linked Records

There are a lot of good reasons to create a DNS record that has no answer itself, but instead points to another record. Most often you do this when you want to ease maintenance by doing complex configuration in one place then referencing it elsewhere, or you’re required to do so to make use of anoth... Continue Reading

Records with Multiple Answers

It is commonly useful to configure multiple answers for a given domain name and record type. Due to the behavior of public resolvers this can offer a very simple "round robin" like behavior. Multiple A record responses One typical example is if you have multiple webservers, each with a different ... Continue Reading

TTL Best Practices

TTLs are an integral part in of DNS - they can directly affect the amount of query volume that is attributable to your authoritative service, and in the event of needing to quickly change the record, can result in longer than expected change propagation to all users. For records that leverage a sor... Continue Reading

Wildcard Records

NS1 supports wildcard records, like * or * Wildcards in records are indicated by a leading "*." domain name segment. Please note that you: Must place the wildcard at the beginning of the domain name (* not in the middle (www.* is not allowed)Ma... Continue Reading

Converting Between CNAME, A, and ALIAS Record Types

When using the NS1 platform or querying against our API you may find the need to change between record types while keeping the same name/configuration. CNAME ➜ A To convert a CNAME TO AN A record, simply create a new A record with the desired config and same domain name. Once you create an A reco... Continue Reading

Advanced Record Configuration

DNS Extension Edns-Client-Subnet

NS1 supports the edns-client-subnet (ECS) DNS extension. Read more about this feature in this article. What is edns-client-subnet? ECS is a DNS extension proposed in 2011 by a group of DNS and CDN operators. ECS-enabled DNS resolvers, when sending DNS queries to authoritative DNS servers like NS1'... Continue Reading

A and AAAA Records

The most common DNS record used, an A record simply maps a hostname to an IPv4 address (such as This is required so users are able to reach your website or application using its hostname rather than remembering the IPv4 address. The AAAA Record (Sometimes called a Quad A) operates in ... Continue Reading

CAA Records

What CAA Records Do CAA records allow domain owners to specify which certificate authorities(CAs) are allowed to issue SSL certificates for their domains. Each domain may contain multiple CAA records.The CAA record prevents any other Certificate Authority from issuing an SSL certificate for your do... Continue Reading

PTR Records

PTR, or Pointer records are usually described as the opposite of an A record. While A records point the domain to an IP address, a PTR record points an IP to a domain. This is commonly used as spam verification with certain email programs to confirm a mailserver is really authorized to use the domai... Continue Reading

MX Records

MX, or Mail eXchange records are used to direct emails sent to your domain. MX Records, coupled with a mail server can provide you and your employees, clients, etc. with emails on your own domain such as [email protected] You can also add multiple MX records with varying priorities for redundancy, i... Continue Reading

TXT Records

TXT Records allow you to contain any textual information on a domain or subdomain. Applications can use this to check information about a service you are running, commonly SPF records, DomainKeys, and DKIM (two other email verification processes). Usage with SPF can be read about above in the SPF Re... Continue Reading

SPF Records

SPF records are used during email verification to prevent your domain name from being used by spammers or malicious users. Simply creating an SPF record on your main domain with the content: v=spf1 ip4: a -all (replacing with your mail server’s IP address) will tell email rece... Continue Reading

SRV Records

What the SRV Record Does SRV Records are a way to use DNS to locate services for a specific domain. SRV records allow for built-in load balancing of multiple servers using the priority and weight values in the records. They are defined by RFC 2782. Defining the SRV Record Parameters Where:servic... Continue Reading

NAPTR Records

NAPTR records are most commonly used with Internet Telephony (or VoIP) services. It can be used to map telephone numbers and email addresses for VoIP users to SIP servers via SRV records to initiate calls.... Continue Reading

HINFO Records

HINFO (Host Info) Records are used to associate general information about a host’s CPU and OS with the host’s domain name. For instance, if was running Ubuntu 16.04 with a 3.2 GHz Intel CPU, you could make this information publicly available by creating an HINFO record with “PC-Intel... Continue Reading

AFSDB Records

AFSDB Records are used to connect domain names to AFS servers, AFS being a network filesystem, similar to NFS but more suited to handle the latency of wide area networks, like the Internet, and locally caches files. The AFSDB record is key to this operation, by providing the location to the file dat... Continue Reading

Automatic Failover

This article describes an automatic failover configuration for an A record, in which NS1 is configured to automatically shift traffic to a secondary IP (which normally receives no traffic) upon detecting a failure of your primary IP. For a guide to configuring simple manual failover, read this Knowl... Continue Reading

Load Shedding

This article describes an automatic load shedding configuration for an A record, in which NS1 is configured to automatically shift traffic to a secondary IP if certain load thresholds are met. There are four steps: Create a record that will use the load shedding configuration Setup a new API data... Continue Reading

Fencing 101

Fencing 101 NS1 allows you to restrict requests originating from a specific ASN, location and/or IP to specific answers. Fencing can be utilized with the following filters: GEOFENCE_REGIONAL, GEOFENCE_COUNTRY, NETFENCE_ASN, NETFENCE_PREFIX. How it works: The NETFENCE_ASN filter is given the IP ad... Continue Reading

Filter Chain Tips and Tricks

Filter Chain Tips and Tricks Using the NS1 Filter Chain can be daunting at first. This article will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of using Filter Chains and help you to configure your DNS settings to make the best Traffic Management decisions for your business. Put UP first One of the most ... Continue Reading

Netfence ASN

The NETFENCE_ASN filter allows you to 'fence' clients coming from certain ASN (Autonomous System Number) to specific DNS answers.The filter is given the IP address of the requesting resolver or the EDNS Client Subnet of the originating end user if available. The filter then determines the Autonomous... Continue Reading

Answer Groups

An answer group is a shared label allowing identifying metadata to be linked among a select number of possible DNS IP address answers. Using NS1’s Filter Chain technology, answer groups are used to accomplish advanced routing goals. In a Filter Chain, filters are organized in a specific order so ... Continue Reading

EBOT Queries

You may have come across a record type labeled "EBOT" when reviewing query statistics returned by the NS1 API. This is not a DNS record type you can configure, but rather a "virtual" record type used to provide more detailed reporting on queries for non-existent records in your zones. EBOT stands f... Continue Reading

Custom Filters

We're constantly adding new Filter algorithms for use in your Filter Chains. One of the best ways for us to decide what to work on next is by submitting feedback and inquiries to [email protected] If you need some kind of decision making algorithm we don't already have, please let us know. Chances ar... Continue Reading

Comparing ALIAS and CNAME Records

The chief difference between a CNAME record and an ALIAS record is not in the result—both point to another DNS record—but in how they resolve the target DNS record when queried. As a result of this difference, one is safe to use at the zone apex (e.g., naked domain, such as Continue Reading

Filter Chain 101

Overview The Filter Chain is the powerful technology NS1 uses to implement dynamic and intelligent DNS decision making algorithms across your DNS records. When NS1 gets a DNS query, we look up all potential answers to the query — for example, all your web servers. We then pass those answers ... Continue Reading

Manual Failover

This article describes a manual failover configuration for an A record, in which you need to tell NS1 when to shift traffic to a secondary IP; normally traffic will flow to a primary IP. It is easy to achieve automatic failover with NS1 as well, and we've covered that in a separate article. The sim... Continue Reading

Monitoring Jobs

Ping (ICMP) Monitors

While NS1 is primarily used for DNS and traffic management, we also have a robust monitoring solution built right into our portal. Monitoring can be used as a standalone service for alerts or as a Data Feed for real-time traffic management. In our example, we will set up a simple monitor on a websi... Continue Reading

HTTP Monitors

This article focuses on how you can set up an HTTP monitoring job. Click on the Monitors tab and then on the Add Monitor button Configure options on the new monitoring job, such as type (HTTP), region(s) to monitor from, and how frequently the monitor will check the URL. Click into your new moni... Continue Reading

TCP Monitors

While NS1 is primarily used for DNS and traffic management, we also have a robust monitoring solution built right into our portal. Monitoring can be used as a standalone service for alerts, or as a Data Feed for real-time traffic management. Monitoring via Ping (ICMP) or TCP can be done in just a fe... Continue Reading

IPv6 Monitoring

Monitoring your DNS infrastructure through NS1 includes the option to communicate with IPv6 endpoints. Use the following steps to enable IPv6 for any monitoring type. Step 1 Navigate to the monitoring tab. Step 2 Select add a new monitor. Step 3 Enter your monitoring criteria and select the... Continue Reading


Setting Up Notification Lists

Notification Lists control where your monitoring notifications are sent. This article walks through the step-by-step process of creating a notification list and attaching it to a monitoring job. When creating a new monitor you can either start from scratch or assign any existing notification list. ... Continue Reading

Custom Webhook Notifications

In the event that we have not yet integrated with your notification service of choice (we already have custom integrations setup with Slack, PagerDuty & HipChat), you may be able to utilize the "Webhook Notifier" option to set up a connection. The generic Webhook Notifier option allows you to choo... Continue Reading

Slack Notifications

NS1 now offers up/down monitoring alerts delivered via Slack. The process for setting up these notifications is detailed below: Creating a Webhook in Slack 1. Navigate to Slack’s Custom Integrations page and log in to your team’s account. 2. Select Incoming WebHooks and Add Configu... Continue Reading

PagerDuty Notifications

NS1 now offers up/down monitoring alerts delivered via PagerDuty. The process for setting up these notifications is detailed below: Creating a Generic API Service in PagerDuty 1. Log in to your team’s PagerDuty account. In the Configuration drop-down, select Services. Add New Service 2. Unde... Continue Reading

HipChat Notifications

NS1 now offers up/down monitoring alerts delivered via Hipchat. The process for setting up these notifications is detailed below: Creating the Notification Token in HipChat 1. First log in to your Hipchat organization and go to Rooms. 2. Click on the room where you want notifications to be ... Continue Reading

Data Feed

Load Shedding

This article describes an automatic load shedding configuration for an A record, in which NS1 is configured to automatically shift traffic to a secondary IP if certain load thresholds are met. There are four steps: Create a record that will use the load shedding configuration Setup a new API data... Continue Reading

3rd-Party Data Sources

Data Feeds 101

The NS1 platform accepts real-time updates from a variety of Supported Services, each of which can update any number of Data Feeds about your infrastructure. For example, you can connect your Monitis account as an Integration. You can then create Data Feeds for your monitors and connect the feeds t... Continue Reading

Request a 3rd-Party Integration

We're constantly working to integrate with more 3rd-party data sources. One of the factors that helps us decide what to work on next is your feedback, so if you're looking to hook up a new monitoring service, software tool, or some other data source, please let us know by emailing [email protected] ... Continue Reading

Datadog Integration

See below for a detailed overview of how to configure this in the NS1 portal and your Datadog account. Creating a Webhook in your Datadog Account 1. In the Integrations section of your Datadog account, search for the Webhook integration and Install. 2. Open the Configuration tab and s... Continue Reading

Pingdom BeepManager Integration

See below for a detailed overview of how to configure your Pingdom integration in the NS1 portal and your Pingdom account. Note this integration only supports Pingdom BeepManager. Configuring Pingdom as a Data Source in the NS1 Portal1. Navigate to the Integrations section of the NS1 portal, select... Continue Reading

Rackspace Cloud Monitoring Integration

See below for a detailed overview of how to configure Rackspace cloud monitoring into the NS1 portal. Creating a Webhook in your Rackspace Cloud Monitoring Account 1. In the monitoring section of your Rackspace account (More Products -> Rackspace Intelligence -> Monitoring)create an Entity... Continue Reading

Configuring Native NS1 Datafeeds

In situations where our integrations into third party monitoring solutions are not sufficient, NS1 offers an option to connect a webhook URL to a datafeed which will allow for remote systems to programmatically fail out an answer or answers. Create an NS1 API Source/Feed Navigate to the Integrat... Continue Reading

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