XName.org is a free DNS hosting service. However, it is not the best DNS hosting service, as evidenced by complaints on forums such as this one.
In fact, XName is down as of the writing of this article, as is its partner site Kazar Hosting. It is not clear whether it has gone offline for good or whether this is a temporary error, but you can check the current online status of XName by checking this website (https://www.isitdownrightnow.com/XName.org.html).
This article will explain what XName is (or was) and what DNS hosting is. You will also learn about 10 great alternatives to XName.
What Is XName? And What Is DNS Hosting?
There’s a lot of confusion around what DNS hosting actually is. DNS hosting is not the same thing as web hosting!
Web hosting is the place where your website is stored on the internet. Think of it as a virtual version of a storefront, like a retail building where you have a store and sell stuff.
However, when people want to access that storefront, they need to know how to get there. This is where DNS (Domain Name Server) hosting comes into play.
DNS hosting is where information about how to access your website is stored. Think of it as a phone book that contains numbers of stores and people, except it’s actually a database of IP addresses.
Better yet, think of it as an operator who you call when you know the name of a person or business but don’t know their number. Just like the operator will connect you to that person or business over the phone, a DNS hosting service connects people who are browsing the internet to your website/virtual storefront.
When you buy a web hosting package (which is like renting a virtual storefront), you will have to point your domain name to a DNS server (which is like giving the operator your phone number or adding it to a phone book so people can find you).
Usually, when you buy a domain name from a domain name registrar, they will provide you with free DNS hosting so people can find your website on the internet.
However, not all domain name registrars do this, and even if yours does, you may not want to use their DNS hosting as it may not be good quality (meaning it may experience downtime issues, which will prevent people from being able to find and access your website/virtual storefront).
XName.org is a free DNS hosting service. However, it obviously is not the best one out there, because the XName website is currently down, preventing users from using it properly (though if you want to set up your own DNS hosting engine you can download the open-source XName engine from this page, which is still currently up).
In this article, we will go over the top 10 alternatives to XName which are actually working at the moment.
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Best XName Alternatives
Cloudflare’s DNS hosting services are perhaps the most well known. They are especially known for being pretty fast.
Think about it: The amount of time it will take for your web page to load on a user’s device will depend on how fast they can look up your site by sending a DNS request to your DNS hosting provider.
Cloudflare speeds up the request processing time by using servers placed in strategic locations around the world and making use of caching technology to load pages quicker.
One of the best parts about Cloudflare is that not only is it free to use but it will not limit DNS queries on a free plan. This means that you can use it for free regardless of how many website visitors you have.
You can point both main domains and subdomains to the Cloudflare DNS servers. Any website that you operate and for which you have control over where the DNS nameservers point can be used with Cloudflare.
Cloudflare is also a CDN. They cache your website so that even if their main servers are down, they can load cached versions of your content on users’ devices, which is what allows them to promise that they are “Always Online” with virtually no downtime.
In addition, the caching can help speed up the loading of content on users’ devices.
When you use Cloudflare for your DNS hosting services, it is almost certain that your website will remain accessible on the web almost all the time, unlike with XName which can not promise you that.
However, the free Cloudflare DNS plan does come with limits. To start, you will have access to the Content Delivery Network, as well as DDoS Attack prevention features.
However, for most other features, such as the Web Application Firewall and cache analytics, you will have to upgrade to one of the paid plans, which start at just $20/month. In addition, with the free plan, the average email response rate is 24 hours.
You can see updated pricing information on the Cloudflare pricing page.
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Namecheap offers a free DNS service that is pretty good. Unlike XName, they actually offer 24/7 tech support for users of their free DNS hosting service.
The reason Namecheap is doing this is that they hope that users who use their free DNS service will end up using Namecheap as their main domain name registrar in the future.
Namecheap, like XName, offers AAAA records support. However, they also offer support for A/CNAME/NS/MX/TXT/SRV DNS record types.
In addition, they offer email and URL forwarding for no additional cost. DynamicDNS updates are also available free of charge.
If you want, you can use the Namecheap free DNS service as a backup. This means that you don’t have to make it your primary DNS host.
If you already are using your domain name registrar’s DNS hosting service or are using another free DNS hosting service and are somewhat afraid that it might experience downtime and your website will no longer be accessible, having Namecheap’s DNS hosting service as a backup can ensure that your website remains accessible at all times.
Namecheap’s DNS hosting service is free, but you can always upgrade to PremiumDNS if you want a better experience. However, even if you use the free DNS hosting service, it will be free forever and you will never be forced to move to Namecheap as your domain name registrar.
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FreeDNS (found at https://freedns.afraid.org) is a great alternative to XName because it is totally free and actually works. Many forum users who have used XName in the past report that FreeDNS is a more reliable alternative.
FreeDNS is a free DNS hosting service for both domains and subdomains. They also offer web forwarding and reverse IPV6 features.
The free plan of FreeDNS will be sufficient for most people who are looking for a free DNS hosting service for a personal project or a small website. However, it is capped at five subdomains, and it also does not include wildcard support, does not remove captchas, and has a global propagation time of one hour.
Premium plans start at $60/month and allow for up to 500 subdomains, depending on the plan; they also reduce global propagation times to 60 seconds.
You can see updated plans on the FreeDNS pricing page.
FreeDNS was founded in 2001, and the website still looks pretty outdated.
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This is an alternative to XName for those who are into cryptocurrencies. It is based on blockchain technology, and it is designed for those who have .bit websites.
To use NameCoin DNS, you will have to find a registrar and buy a .bit domain, which you can do using cryptocurrency.
It is important to note that this DNS hosting service is a new blockchain that is entirely separate from the main Bitcoin blockchain.
To be honest, this is not an XName alternative that most people would be interested in, and you should probably not use it unless you are into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
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ClouDNS is a forever-free DNS hosting provider. Unlike XName, it offers 24/7 customer support, even for the free plan; customer support is lacking with XName according to online reports.
However, when compared to Cloudflare, it comes in a bit short. This is because unlike Cloudflare, which does not limit DNS inquiries on their free plan, ClouDNS does limit queries to 500,000 a month.
So, if you have more than 500,000 visitors a month, you would need to upgrade to a paid plan. In addition, while the free plan does include web redirects and one mail forwarding, you will be limited to one DNS zone.
Nevertheless, the paid plans for ClouDNS are pretty affordable. In fact, they start at just $2.95/month; for updated prices, make sure to check out the ClouDNS pricing page.
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Hurricane Electric is another DNS hosting service that is entirely free. It is a great alternative to XName; like XName, it provides IPv6 reverse zones but also IPv4 reverse zones. In addition, like XName, it supports AAAA records but also A, ALIAS, CNAME, CAA, MX, NS, TXT, SRV, SSHFP, SPF, RP, NAPTR, HINFO, LOC, and PTR records.
In addition, they have added a dynamic checkip service, which you can access at http://checkip.dns.he.net.
Its servers are geographically diverse, which means that regardless of which language your website is and/or in which countries users are trying to access your site, they will be able to access it quickly.
One of the reasons Hurricane Electric is a great XName alternative is because it is actually updated regularly. The last XName news update is from 2013, while Hurricane Electric’s page says that it was last updated in July 2020 (as of the time of this writing; always check their website for the latest updates).
In addition, they are always adding new features. Right now, they are exploring new features like Bind Zone Import/Export and DNSSEC.
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7. Server Space
Server Space is a free DNS hosting provider that allows you to host up to 20 domains at no cost at all. The main types of records they support are A, AAAA, MX, PTR, CNAME, NS, TXT, and SRV.
Server Space is a great alternative to XName because they provide a number of additional services in addition to DNS hosting. This way, you can get all of your needs met in one place without having to use so many services and companies at once.
For example, you can get an SSL certificate starting from just €5 for a single domain. Also, you can build free private networks with up to a stable 1 Gbps Bandwidth with global access points and up to 10 networks in a single project.
There are various other services, which you can see updated prices for on the Server Space pricing page (all prices are paid in Euros). For the paid services, you only pay for what you use, and payment will be deducted from your account.
As you can see on the pricing page, the DNS service is free forever, but data storage starts at €0.02/mo for 1 GB.
Unlike XName, which looks pretty outdated, Server Space has a sleek, modern, up to date website.
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GeoScaling offers a free DNS hosting service. It allows you to handle up to one million DNS requests per month for free.
They have nameservers in three different countries: France (Paris), Romania, and the USA (Dallas, Texas). Regardless of where a visitor to your website is located, if you are using GeoScaling’s DNS hosting services, your page will load quickly and without delays.
Unlike XName, which can be a bit confusing since it is so outdated and has all kinds of spelling mistakes, GeoScaling actually has a pretty easy to use interface. There are no confusing bells and whistles; instead, it does what it is supposed to do.
Another great benefit of using GeoScaling is that you can redirect users based on a variety of factors, including which country they are in, their city, their network name, and more.
Not only that, but with the use of smart subdomains, you can make live redirection decisions in real time. All you have to do is contact GeoScaling support, and they will help you.
If you do need to handle more than one million DNS requests per month (which you likely won’t unless you operate a large business), you can always contact GeoScaling for a custom, cheap price. This price will be decided on between you and their team, but for most people, one million DNS requests per month are more than enough.
Another great thing about GeoScaling DNS is that they actually listen to what you have to say and the feedback you have to offer. They have a page where you can submit feedback, and they claim that a lot of their features have been inspired by feedback given by users.
In addition, the owners of GeoScaling use their own DNS services for their other projects. This means that you can be sure that they are actually invested in making sure that it is a great service that fulfills their own needs.
GeoScaling offers a number of unique features that are offered by no other DNS services (or at least they claim not to be aware of any DNS service that offers these features). This means that unlike with XName, you will be able to do things such as redirect visitors based on the network name, city, country, and latitude and longitude.
As mentioned, they also have smart subdomains. A used-defined script will make a decision on which IP address to return based on factors previously mentioned (the visitors’ country, for example) and other factors like uptime.
Not only that, but if you do not know how to write those scripts, GeoScaling will write them for you! All of these things make GeoScaling unique and different from XName and really any other DNS hosting service.
9. Duck DNS
Duck DNS is a free DNS hosting service. The entire team behind Duck DNS only consists of two engineers, but these two engineers have more than 15 years of experience in the industry.
You can use Duck DNS to make your home network accessible from anywhere by setting up a Duck DNS subdomain. However, it can be used for any purpose, really.
Like XName, Duck DNS has a very simple website interface. However, it is a great alternative to XName because not only is it forever free, like XName, but it has tons of tutorials for many, many types of operating systems; also, it actually works!
In fact, I counted 18 different operating systems, in addition to types of routers and standards.
Finally, the last DNS hosting service that we will be looking at is called 1984 DNS. 1984 Hosting is a hosting company, but you do not need to use their web hosting to use their free DNS hosting services.
They are offering it for free because they hope that some people who use their DNS hosting services will also move over to their web hosting services. However, know that there is no requirement to do so and that you can continue using your previous web hosting provider without any pressure.
1984 is a great alternative to XName for those who are careful about their privacy and the environment. You may have suspected that the name “1984 Hosting” is in reference to George Orwell’s book, 1984.
Your data is safe with 1984. They are based in Iceland, and although the company was started in 2006, they have since become Iceland’s biggest web hosting company.
1984 has three main missions and core values that they stick to:
- Upholding civil rights: There is a reason why 1984 continues to be based in Iceland, and that is because, in Iceland, IMMI legislation is in the works. The founders of 1984 are passionate about civil rights and freedom of speech, which is why they will go the extra mile to protect their customers’ rights and inform them of any requests by governmental agencies about their information.
- Green energy: 1984 only uses renewable energy and strives to be as efficient as possible in their energy usage. When you switch to 1984 DNS hosting, you know that you will be making a minimal impact on the environment.
- Free Software: 1984 Hosting is dedicated to creating free software whenever possible.
In a nutshell: If you are passionate about civil rights, freedom of speech, and environmental protection, 1984 DNS hosting is a great alternative to XName.
Should You Use a Free DNS Hosting Service?
There is nothing wrong with using a free DNS hosting service. However, you should make sure to use one that is reliable and does not experience slowdowns or downtimes.
XName is not one of those DNS hosting service providers, as they do not seem to be very reliable. However, various others, such as Cloudflare, ClouDNS, and 1984 Hosting, seem to be more reliable.
However, if you do want better features, upgrading to a premium plan or using a premium DNS hosting service can always help.
What Is The Best XName Alternative?
The best XName Alternative is Cloudflare. ClouDNS is a close runner-up, and Namecheap is pretty good too.
However, Cloudflare trumps them all if you are looking for a free DNS service. This is because unlike ClouDNS, it does not limit queries on the free plan.
In addition, unlike XName and all the other DNS services on this list, Cloudflare includes a Content Delivery Network. This ensures that your website is not only shown to people from all around the world but that there is virtually no downtime and that your pages load very quickly.
In addition, you will be protected against DDoS attacks if you use the free Cloudflare service.