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Some frequently interesting topics:

[Jump to #1] I want to add additional nameservers for my domain
[Jump to #2] Is there a program/script for updating my IP in FreeDNS?
[Jump to #3] What is the difference between a private and public domain?
[Jump to #4] I have multiple hostnames and a dynamic IP, how do I update them all?
[Jump to #5] Can I have 1 host point to multiple IP addresses?
[Jump to #6] What does it mean when there is (stealth) next to a domain in the list?
[Jump to #7] How can I make my domain work on irc so it shows my DNS as my host mask?
[Jump to #8] How do I make mydomain.com point to my IP address?
[Jump to #9] How do I delete a domain?
[Jump to #10] How do I contact the owner of a domain in afraid.org?
[Jump to #11] What does the "Broken 08/30/2002" mean?
[Jump to #12] Why does my site not go to the right IP address?
[Jump to #13] How can I protect myself from using a domain that may disappear from afraid.org and/or become "broken"?
[Jump to #14] I want to add my own domain into here, what do I need to know?
[Jump to #15] I can't ping anything of yours, is it working?
[Jump to #16] freedns.afraid.org and Google

Question: (FAQ item #1)
I want to add additional nameservers for my domain
Answer:
To allow external DNS server(s) of yours to do automatic synchronisation to your domains, you must define a complete and accurate list of nameservers in the 'secondaries' area in the domains section. This MUST match exactly what you have defined at the place of purchasing your domain as well.

Hosts you add as secondary servers to your domain will (1) be allowed to transfer all of your subdomain (via AXFR protocol) directly from freedns.afraid.org and (2) will automatically receive DNS NOTIFY packets from freedns.afraid.org, so that they know when to trigger their AXFR/sync with freedns.afraid.org to keep up to date in real time any time you update any of your records.
 
Question: (FAQ item #2)
Is there a program/script for updating my IP in FreeDNS?
Answer:
For a list of Windows/UNIX clients available, please visit the FreeDNS Clients page. You can reach it anytime within the Dynamic DNS section of the site. You can use any program that talks over HTTP to update your IP within FreeDNS.
 
Question: (FAQ item #3)
What is the difference between a private and public domain?
Answer:
Private domains means the domain owner reserves the ability to reject hostnames that they deem slanderous or offensive.

Public domains means anyone in FreeDNS can setup a hostname using that domain without the domain owner's approval.

You can change your domain's status between public and private by clicking the public or private text link in the domains area in FreeDNS.

Administration of these domains is done by myself on a case by case basis as reported to me. If someone is abusing a hostname by using it with spamming or malicious or otherwise illegal activity, upon me receiving such a report the account will be investigated and locked down. The hostname will be unchangeable, and remain in a locked state so it cannot be reused ever again. All activity performed in FreeDNS IS logged, and will be provided to the proper legal authorities upon request.

There is also an additional flag of 'stealth'. Stealth allows you to remove your domain from all shared lists, for transparent hosting. Stealth is available to premium members only.
 
Question: (FAQ item #4)
I have multiple hostnames and a dynamic IP, how do I update them all?
Answer:
Dynamic DNS updates to any record with the same destination ip will all be updated automatically with a single update if linked updates are enabled (on by default).

For example if you have:
host1.afraid.org 1.1.1.1
host2.afraid.org 1.1.1.1
host3.afraid.org 2.2.2.2

Fetching the Dynamic DNS update URL to either of host1. or host2. in this example will update them both.

If you want updates to records to be isolated to single records no matter what their destination, you can disable linked updates by clicking into the Dynamic DNS section and pressing the submit button.
 
Question: (FAQ item #5)
Can I have 1 host point to multiple IP addresses?
Answer:
Yes, round robin DNS / DNS load balancing is built in. If you add 2 hostnames, with the same hostname, and point them to different IP addresses this will correctly setup round-robin DNS. You will see 2 records with the same hostname in your account in the subdomains section.
 
Question: (FAQ item #6)
What does it mean when there is (stealth) next to a domain in the list?
Answer:
Domains with a (stealth) by them are invisible in the system, indicating a domain that is not visible from anyone else's account.

Possible reason for this, are:

1). Domains which are subdelegated from another DNS server, instead of from a direct registration authority, or

2). The use of premium member stealth flags.
 
Question: (FAQ item #7)
How can I make my domain work on irc so it shows my DNS as my host mask?
Answer:
FreeDNS provides hostname to IP conversion, however IP to hostname conversion (referred to as reverse DNS) is handled by the company in control of the IP address space you are using.

If you wish to use a FreeDNS host on IRC, you will need cooperation with your Internet service provider as they are the ones that control the authority for your IP address space.

You may also wish to use a IPv6 tunnel broker, if the irc network you wish to connect to is also connected to the IPv6 network. Many IPv6 tunnel brokers will allow you full control of your DNS, which you can control in the IPv6 Reverse section.
 
Question: (FAQ item #8)
How do I make mydomain.com point to my IP address?
Answer:
First you'll need to add mydomain.com to freedns, to do this click on the domains area on the left and add your domain into the system. Once you have completed this step you'll want to click subdomains on the left side, and find the record of mydomain.com and point it to the IP address of your choosing, you can edit this record by clicking on it.
 
Question: (FAQ item #9)
How do I delete a domain?
Answer:
In order to delete a domain you'll need to click on 'domains' on the left side, then click on 'view hosts' on the domain you wish to delete, then click on 'delete this domain' at the bottom of the list.

To return using afraid.org, simply add it back in.

Your previous configuration will be restored.
 
Question: (FAQ item #10)
How do I contact the owner of a domain in afraid.org?
Answer:
FreeDNS has a local domain registry that is linked on the left hand menu of the site.

This contains a searchable list of domains and their owners that use afraid.org, you can contact any domain owner by clicking their username.
 
Question: (FAQ item #11)
What does the "Broken 08/30/2002" mean?
Answer:
I've broken this question up into 2 parts.

For new domains:

If you have a domain and you see this message within afraid.org, this simply means your domain was found to not be correctly delegated to ns1 through ns4.afraid.org on the Internet.

If you don't know what this last paragraph means, relax, I'll explain.

Domains themselves all must be "registered" in order to work on the Internet to a central registration authority in charge of all domains on the Internet before afraid.org (or anyone) can make them work. Still with me? If not, re-read that last bit until it makes sense, its very important you understand this concept.

The central authority for all domains on the Internet is ICANN. In the interest of "free trade", you can get a domain through many companies who are known as "ICANN accredited registrars". Any ICANN accredited registrar will do.

For domains that used to work:

The common cause of this, is if the place of registering your domain has removed delegation to afraid.org for your domain, maybe your domain has expired, or you have changed your authoritive nameservers to not use ns1-ns4.afraid.org at your domain registrar yourself.

This check is automatically ran once a night to ensure the domains in afraid.org are working correctly to keep the shared lists clean. To check dns authority instantly, you can use the DNS Auth trace box in the right hand side on every page of FreeDNS. This works for any domain or subdomain, even if it is not hosted here. This will show you your live configuration of your domain on the Internet starting from the Root DNS servers, and if it is correct, the broken check will catch it and remove the broken flag.

Broken is only a internal FreeDNS flag, if a domain remains in a broken state for 30 days, it is auto-removed.

Broken checking occurs once every 24 hours, or when you press the "Check for Broken Domains Now" button within the "domains" section.
 
Question: (FAQ item #12)
Why does my site not go to the right IP address?
Answer:
DNS Caching.

DNS by nature is a very efficient, hierarchal caching service. To answer this question, you must understand how DNS works, I will quickly explain it here.

Even though changes do go live instantly in FreeDNS, if you've just attempted to go to your site prior to updating your IP configuration, your computer, and your ISPs nameserver both will temporarily cache/remember those records of it's initial lookup, and reference those results, until the records TTL cache values expire. There is no way to force a record to immediately expire from your ISP.

The expiration time value is controlled by FreeDNS. In FreeDNS the cache values (called a TTL, time to live) are set to 3600 seconds by default (1 hour).

New domains, by default are pointed to afraid.org's servers, if you attempt to visit your domain immediately after adding your domain, but BEFORE properly configuring it, you will be redirected to a URL that looks something like http://freedns.afraid.org/?no_webforward_found_for_www.yourdomain.com until the TTL expires.

If you dynamically update (through the 'dynamic dns' section in FreeDNS) a record, it's TTL will then be adjusted to 60 seconds for faster propigation. You won't benefit from it until the next real lookup happens (within an hour).

Once a value is propigated, there is no way to force it to expire from your ISPs nameserver unless you are the administrator of that nameserver.

If you wish to verify that your update has made it into FreeDNS, instead of waiting, you can query against afraid.org's nameservers directly from your computer like so:

click start menu -> click run -> type "nslookup" without quotes, press enter.

You should see a black box, inside of it, type:

"server ns1.afraid.org" press enter "yourhostname.afraid.org" press enter

There are also 3rd party DNS utilities available for windows that would let you see how many seconds are left in the cache in your ISPs nameserver.
 
Question: (FAQ item #13)
How can I protect myself from using a domain that may disappear from afraid.org and/or become "broken"?
Answer:
You should either use your own domain which you own rights to (and control at your domain registrar) for domain longevity and complete guaranteed control.

If you wish to use a shared domain in the system for any sort of long term use (like email/web services) then it is recommended you use one of the domains owned by me personally (such as mooo.com, strangled.net etc) or a domain of your own. You can change your domain dropdown preferences in the 'preferences' section to show domains owned by afraid.org admin by default, and this will show you those domains when you click subdomains and add a subdomain.

Use of the shared domains are not personally owned by me, but rather other members of this service. "Your mileage may vary" if you use domains owned by other members of this service. Be smart, do not create a dependency on them. You can use the 'Registry' link on the left hand side to find out how long domains have been hosted here, and how many subdomains are attached to each domain to help you gauge their reliability.

Keep in mind the shared concept is primarly designed for use of 'vhosts' (or any other non-permanent use). The domain you choose may last for years and years, or it may disappear next week. Beware of this.
 
Question: (FAQ item #14)
I want to add my own domain into here, what do I need to know?
Answer:
The most important thing about hosting a domain you need to understand here, is that there are 3 domain states you can set your domain to as a domain owner. They are:

1). Public - If you add your domain as public, this shared queue will not be used at all, others will be permitted to attach to subdomains off your domain without involving your approval.

2). Private - If you add your domain as private, then you will be able to screen your domains of which you decide to allow and deny. While domains are in the shared queue pending acceptance or not, they WILL function on the global Internet. It is assumed that you will support this concept, and approve the majority, and only deny those that you deem offensive or slanderous.

3). Invisible / Stealth - If you add your domain as invisible (premium members only), your domain will not be available for anyone else but you to use, and the shared queue will not be used at all. Invisible gives you completely private domain hosting where no one else may attach to your domain. Also some domains go in invisible by default if they come from other free DNS providers and the like, then they are not shared. If you believe your domain is being incorrectly marked as invisible and wish to share it, contact me.

If someone is using your domain for illegitimate purposes, please contact me via email for prompt assistance / resolution. You may view domains others are using on your domains by clicking domains, and then "view hosts". If you have a public or private domain, and have just became a premium member and wish to remove shared hosts from your domain, contact me and I can provide an inverse strip of subdomains to your domain.
 
Question: (FAQ item #15)
I can't ping anything of yours, is it working?
Answer:
Yes. Ping (ICMP echo) and traceroute are not functions required or related to the operation of DNS. They are therefore disabled on this end.

If you want to check if a nameserver is responding, issue a DNS query directly to that nameserver.

If you want to check if a webserver is responding, issue a HTTP request.
 
Question: (FAQ item #16)
freedns.afraid.org and Google
Answer:
Subdomains created off of shared domains have some permissions restrictions. There are no permissions restrictions with Google that apply to domain owners themselves for hostnames they create to their own domains.

Users of shared domains may use freedns.afraid.org with Google too. freedns.afraid.org operates a separate set of DNS servers just for Google, which only Google can see.

The official workings are as follows:

1) At around 4AM PST each night, the previous 24 hours worth of domain additions are made visible to Google. (subdomain edits and updates are instant).

2) No subdomains created via the shared domain system are visible to Google. You must own the domain its self that you are creating a subdomain off of to have it visible to Google by default.

NOTE: Older subdomains may infact be visible to Google. To make it more evident of whether or not your site is visible to Google, a blue (G) will appear next to a record in the subdomains section as an indicator.

freedns.afraid.org does not at all wish to prohibit its members from publishing their own sites and content. If you wish to have your site seen by Google, and are not using a domain of your own, please contact dnsadmin@afraid.org with a working URL to your website. Also keep in mind it is important you choose a domain which is not likely to disappear for building your website on. Any domains owned by freedns.afraid.org should be around forever, however domains not owned by freedns.afraid.org are not guaranteed.


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