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I am transfering a domain name from namecheap to aws route 53 service. AWS provides you with three options when transfering:

  1. Continue to use the name servers provided by the current registrar or DNS service.
  2. Import name servers from a Route 53 hosted zone that has the same name as the domain.
  3. Specify new name servers to replace the current registrar's name servers (not recommended)

what is the advantage of using option 2 over the others. What is the difference in pros and cons between the options?

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There are two parts to owning a domain. The registration, and the hosting of the DNS entries. AS you are transferring the domain registration, AWS needs to know who's service do you want to use for managing your DNS host names and other settings.

As a sensible default, select option (1) as this will keep everything managed with the current registrar / hosting company and so nothing will break (at this point in time). When your hosting expires with this company, its quite likely they will drop all of your DNS settings as well, in which case you will need to have migrated somewhere else before this point (options 2 and 3)

However, if you are using AWS services you really should be managing the DNS settings in AWS, and will want to create a Route 53 hosted zone. This provides better integration with the AWS environment, and allows you to use some of the "AWS aware" aspects of Route53 for your infrastructure. Assuming that you initially selected option 1, you should then set up a parallel zone in Route53, verify all of the DNS records match (except NS settings for the domain) and then update your Domain registration to use option 2. Changing this setting can take 72 hours to roll across the internet. In my experience, usually 90% of the internet knows in under 6 hours.

Option 3 means you (or someone else) is managing the Domain DNS master server for your domain. There may be situations where this makes sense, but they are rare.

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  • "When your hosting expires with this company, its quite likely they will drop all of your DNS settings as well." You should expect them to drop you as soon as the domain transfer is complete, when the name servers belong to the old registrar or an affiliate. Also "if you are using AWS services you really should be managing the DNS settings in AWS" is true but in certain cases, it's also mandatory, for services deployed at the apex of the domain. – Michael - sqlbot Aug 2 at 13:57
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    In addition, using route53 means there's one less external service you have to think about. – bradym Aug 2 at 17:58

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