How Do I Setup a Secondary DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

Setting up a Secondary DNS Server

Having a secondary DNS server is essential for ensuring the stability and reliability of your website’s domain name resolution. In case your primary DNS server goes down or experiences any issues, a secondary DNS server can step in and continue resolving domain names for your website.

This article will guide you through the process of setting up a secondary DNS server.

Step 1: Choose Your Secondary DNS Server

Before setting up a secondary DNS server, you need to select a reliable provider that offers secondary DNS services. There are many providers available, so take some time to research and compare their features and pricing.

Once you have chosen a provider, sign up for an account and obtain the necessary credentials to access their services.

Step 2: Configure Zone Transfer on Primary Server

To enable zone transfer from your primary DNS server to the secondary server, you need to configure the necessary settings on your primary server. Log in to your primary server’s control panel or administration interface and navigate to the zone settings.

Look for an option called “Zone Transfer” or “Zone Settings,” and then specify the IP address of your secondary DNS server as an allowed recipient for zone transfers. This step ensures that the primary server can send updates and changes to the secondary server whenever necessary.

Step 3: Add Zone on Secondary Server

Once you have configured zone transfer on your primary server, log in to your secondary DNS provider’s control panel or administration interface. Look for an option to add a new zone or domain.

Provide the necessary details such as the domain name, IP address of your primary DNS server, and any other required information. This step allows the secondary server to pull information from the primary server and keep it synchronized.

Step 4: Update DNS Records on Primary Server

With the zone added on the secondary server, it’s time to update the DNS records on your primary server. Make sure that all necessary DNS records, including A records, CNAME records, MX records, etc., are correctly configured and up to date.

To test the setup, you can make a small change to one of the DNS records and verify if it reflects correctly on both primary and secondary servers. This step ensures that any changes made on the primary server are replicated accurately to the secondary server.

Step 5: Verify Zone Transfers

Once everything is set up, it’s crucial to ensure that zone transfers are working correctly between your primary and secondary servers. To do this, you can make another small change to one of the DNS records on your primary server and verify if it gets transferred to the secondary server within a reasonable time frame (usually a few minutes).

You can also check the logs or monitoring tools provided by your secondary DNS provider to verify successful zone transfers. If you encounter any issues or delays in zone transfers, review your settings and ensure that both servers are properly configured for communication.


Setting up a secondary DNS server is an important step in ensuring the availability and reliability of your website’s domain name resolution. By following these steps and choosing a reliable provider for your secondary DNS services, you can enhance your website’s resilience against potential downtime or disruptions.

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