GeoDNS

Review: Managed GeoDNS on a budget

You can rent VPSes locations all over the world very cheaply. Adding all your different servers’ IP addresses to a domain doesn’t route users to their nearest location. For that you need a smarter DNS server providing GeoDNS services. Here is a quick overview of five managed DNS service providers offering GeoDNS functionality on a budget starting at just $1,03 USD per month.

The list is sorted by price per month and not recommendation. The price example is for one domain with 750 000 queries in a month. Every provider in the list has a network of anycast DNS servers in at least ten geographically dispersed locations around the world. None of these providers offer GeoDNS with DNSSEC.

Route 53 by Amazon Web Services

1 domain with 750 000 queries: $1,03 USD per month.

Route 53 is focused on the needs of websites hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. It’s hard to configure for externally hosted customers and require some knowledge of AWS network infrastructure and the physical locations of Amazon data centers in relation to your own hosting provider.

This is not a good choice if you’re unfamiliar with GeoDNS and haven’t used a similar service in the past. I’d recommend you configure and use Constellix for a month or two to familiarize yourself with the concepts and practical implications of GeoDNS. Only then should you consider going back and trying Route 53 as a cost-cutting alternative or maybe as a secondary DNS failover.

Doesn’t support CAA records.

Route 53 is the cheapest option and has a 100 % SLA. More detailed price information:

$0,50 USD per domain per month 
$0,70 USD  per million queries per month – first 1 billion queries
$0,35 USD per million queries per month – over 1 billion queries

Zilore DNS

1 domain with 750 000 queries: $5 USD per month.

This is the price point I was personally out to find. However, Zilore is new to the market and are priced suspiciously cheaply. How can they maintain good performance without having any query limits? Worryingly, Zilore has no SLA on the cheapest subscription level.

Zilore has — and this is only a guesstimate — two employees. They’re a “virtual company” incorporated in the United Kingdom to front a Russian company. I don’t feel great about Zilore, but haven’t got much more to say about them as they don’t have a control panel demo, screenshots, or credit-card-free trial.

There is no documentation about supported DNS record types.

$5 USD per domain per month – first domain
$0,50 USD per domain per month – additional domains
$0 USD per query per month
$200 USD per domain per month – first domain for a 100 % SLA

Constellix GeoDNS

1 domain with 750 000 queries: $6,55 USD per month.

Great design and control panel with unique features such as free vanity NS records (your own domain appears to be the DNS server). The real-time query statistics page is reassuring when you’re just setting up things — and offers unique insight into what queries are costing you money. Domain configuration is complex, but good and easy to follow documentation of even the smallest things make Constellix a considerably better than the competition.

They’re new to the market, but appears to be a rebranding of another established player called DNS Made Easy. Constellix offer a 100 % SLA.

The only provider listed here that supports CAA records.

More detailed price information:

$5,05 USD per domain per month – first domain
$0,55 USD per domain per month – first 25 domains 
$2 USD per million queries per month – first 1 billion queries
$0,80 USD per million queries per month – over 1 billion queries

EdgeDirector

1 domain with 750 000 queries: $11,25 USD per month.

The website design, services, and prices seems to have remained unchanged for the last decade. The service and company appears to be left on auto-pilot. No SLA or uptime guarantee, but has more than a decade of good track record to its name.

Doesn’t support CAA records.

No monthly minimum cost or per-domain fee. Potentially a very cheap option if you have practically no traffic but are hellbent on having good DNS and page load performance. More detailed price information:

$0 USD per domain per month
$15 USD per million queries per month

easyDNS Enterprise

1 domain with 750 000 queries: $12,75 USD per month.

Excruciatingly painful to configure. easyDNS Enterprise is the only provider where you must pay for a full year in advance. Doesn’t accept signups from new generic top level domains (such as my own .blog domain). Very limited in terms of which DNS records can be configured. easyDNS seems to have taken the easy-road when developing their service and haven’t kept up to date on developments in the DNS. Offers a 100 % SLA.

Doesn’t support CAA records.

More detailed price information:

$153 USD per domain per year
Up to 5 million queries per month. No information on overage charges nor policies.

Sales tax may apply depending on the provider and your region.