How to use free for slave DNS nameserver hosting

Hurricane Electric is an Internet bandwidth provider of some repute. Recently it started offering free DNS hosting via its site at In this article I look at how you can use HE’s DNS hosting to add redundant slave nameservers for your domain name.

These are the steps that you have to follow:

  • First up you have to register for a free account at
  • Allow zone transfers in your nameserver configuration. In BIND you do this by adding the following to your named.conf file:
    options {
     allow-transfer     {  

    The IP address above is for the server This is the server that will pull the DNS records from your master nameserver.

  • Prepare your domain name zone file by adding HE’s nameservers. For example in BIND:        IN      NS        IN      NS        IN      NS        IN      NS

    Make sure that your SOA record has your master nameserver in it. For example:        IN      SOA   ( 
  • Add your domain name as a slave in Select ‘Add a new Slave’ from the ‘Zone Functions’ menu to the left. Then in the popup window enter the domain name and the master nameserver’s address and click on “Add slave!”.

    Adding a slave zone

  • Now you just have to wait a few minutes while HE’s servers pull the records from the master nameserver. Click on the “i” icon next to your domain name to see the records.

That’s it! Now you have redundant slave nameservers for your domain name and all for free!


2 thoughts on “How to use free for slave DNS nameserver hosting

  1. What’s your experience with zone update delays? If I force the update from the interface the service reports it will take a few minutes and I can see in my logs the zone sends the AXFR but it still take a while for the zone to update on the slaves. if I make an update to the zone I can again verify on my side the notify is being sent but it seems to take an undetermined amount of time for the zone to update on the he side. have you experienced anything like this?


    • I have never used HE with a dns server that sends notifications to slaves so I don’t have experience in this regard. HE must be ignoring such notifications. So you should customize your record refresh times so that it doesn’t cache your zone records for too long.

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