I’ve been using GratisDNS for many, many years and have pretty much been happy with the technical side of the service. There have been a few glitches here and there but seeing the big picture, I rarely had any problems. Except for a few times when their DNS servers have been extremely slow to pick up changes which has been a huge annoyance.
I have looked in their support forums a few times, just to check if there was any news from the people behind GratisDNS about why zones weren’t being created, changes weren’t being delegated etc. More often than not, there wasn’t any news and we users were just forced to wait and see what happened. I have been stuck in situations with customers for whom I host mail or websites, where I have had to explain to them that an external dependency was the reason for their domain not working correctly. On a side note, when browsing the support forums (which are in Danish), more often than not forum admins (or “DNS Gurus” as they are called there) would answer users in an extremely rude and obnoxious way. It seems they might have forgotten that they are actually providing a service and their users who really are the main reason for their existence.
Yesterday I needed to delegate a new domain to GratisDNS, so I created the zone using the admin interface (this was at about 10am) and set about waiting for them to reload their name servers at some time between 1pm and 2pm (like it says in their wiki). After 2pm I could still not query the zone on their primary server, so redelegating the domain wasn’t possible. I tweeted about it and a friend replied on Facebook that I should take a look at QuickDNS.
I created a user, created my first zone and tried to query their DNS server. It answered. I requested a delegation from DK-Hostmaster and it went through straight away. The time it took from creating a user to pressing “OK” on the delegation form and receiving a positive response was less than 4 minutes.
Another really cool thing about QuickDNS is the way you can use templates to build up your zones. So I can have templates for DNS setup for all my different systems (like mail servers, IPv6 addressing, web, admin, stats etc.) and just piece them together for each of my zones. This makes it really easy to handle quite complex DNS setups where many domains don’t necessarily have the exact same setup.
This morning I delegated the rest of my domains to QuickDNS. As soon as the change has propagated through the rest of the internet (I’ll give it 24 hours to be on the safe side) I’ll be deleting my user from GratisDNS. They can keep their slow systems and rude admins to themselves - the zone I created on their servers yesterday still isn’t answering.
Oh – and Merry Christmas