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What are Nameservers and How Do They Work?

Do you ever wonder how the Internet, in all its sheer size, dependably works and gets you where you need to go online?

The easiest way to think about it is this:

Each website has a unique IP address, but you wouldn’t want to have to remember these numbers and type them in every time you want to visit one of your favorite sites. What happens instead, is that you can purchase a domain name, such as https://canspace.ca, and this domain name, which is much easier to remember, is tied to the IP address of your site.

A domain name server, also called a DNS server or just name server, manages the massive database that maps domain names to IP addresses. Think of it like a massive relay board that checks a domain name, matches it against its IP address, and sends the browser toward the right website, a process referred to as DNS name resolution.

The other thing to know about name servers is that there are many of them, creating a level of redundancy (which is a good thing). The DNS server your browser will use at any particular time is actually determined by the network you’re on, and has to do with which one can be accessed most efficiently. Some of this is geographic in nature (it’s faster to ping a name server closer to you) but there are also other considerations that enter the picture.

How do I change my nameservers?

If you’re interested in changing the nameservers for your site, head over to the Client Area on the CanSpace site

  1. Click Domains
  2. Then click the small arrow next to your domain (Step 1) and select “Manage Nameservers” (Step 2).
  3. Select the “Use custom nameservers (enter below)” radio-box, and then enter your nameservers in provided fields and click the “Change Nameservers” button

Please note that nameserver changes may take up to 24 hours to fully propagate.

If you have several domains, and you’d like to update nameservers on all of them, you can also use the “Bulk changes” option.

How do I manage DNS entries?

If you only have domain registrations with us, our DNS Manager allows you to edit your DNS records, including A, MX, TXT, CNAME, NS, and PTR records.

In order for the DNS records to work properly, your nameservers must be set to:



  1. From the Client Area, click on the “Domains” tab and from the dropdown bar select “DNS settings”.
  2. On the next page, click on “Add new zone” to add your domain to the DNS server. Please use your full domain name without the “www.” prefix.
  3. You can edit the DNS zone for your domain by clicking on “Edit” button. On the next page, you can see the default DNS entries, and you can add more records by clicking on “Add record” button.
  4. From the dropdown bar, you can select the DNS record you’d like to add.

If you have a web hosting plan for your site through us, your DNS records can easily be modified via your cPanel.

Have questions about nameservers, whether general or ones that apply to your site specifically? Reach out to us today!

CanSpace Team

CanSpace Solutions is Canada's leading domain name registrar and web hosting provider. Keep an eye on our blog for expert information on domain names, websites, and running a business online.