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All About Nameservers

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2016 11:32AM CDT

What is a nameserver?

A nameserver (sometimes called a DNS server) is what translates a domain name or computer hostname to an IP address, which is a numeric pointer that identifies a computer on the Internet. Each computer/server etc. has an IP address that looks like four numbers separated by a dot:

Instead of needing to remember all those numbers for your favorite websites, we use the DNS (domain name system) to translate domain names into IP addresses. The Nameserver is the part of the DNS system that translates all that information.

When your computer wants to know how to access it sends a query to your ISP's DNS servers. Those servers are responsible for answering your computer's questions. If your ISP's servers don't know the answer then they have a process where they ask the central Nameservers for the Internet, who then point them to Google's Nameservers for the answer. Since Google's Nameservers are authoritative for,,, etc, your ISP's servers ask Google's servers for the correct IP address and then tell your computer so it can ask the right server for the web page. Your ISP then caches that information so it doesn't have to ask again for a while, in case another computer asks the ISP for that information.

The nameservers that A Small Orange uses for the domains it hosts are:

Check out this great video that explains DNS in simple terms. You can also check out our DNS Explained article.

Your Nameservers

The nameservers for your shared hosting account are and

The nameservers for your VPS account (using are and

You will need to register your nameservers with the registrar where you purchased the domain, if it was not A Small Orange.

Point Your Nameserver to Another Host

If you registered your domain name at ASO you can login to the Customer Area ( and follow these steps:

  1. Click on "My Domains" on the left-hand side under Quick Links
  2. Click on the wrench on the right-hand side next to the domain name
  3. At the bottom click on "Change the registrar lock status for your domain"
  4. Click on "Disable Registrar Lock"
  5. Click on "My Domains" on the left-hand side under Quick Links
  6. Click on the down arrow to the right of your domain name
  7. Click on the option "Manage Nameservers"
  8. Update the nameservers and click the button "Change Nameservers" to save your changes
  9. Be sure lock the domain again using steps 2 through 5.

Note: enter the nameserver in the format of You do not need to use the Register a Nameserver function.


See also Set Up Nameservers at Registrar, Set Up Custom Nameservers, Change Nameservers for CloudFlare
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