Free DNS Provider - dns.widge.net

In my attempt to recover from the EveryDNS disaster, I have accidentally found another free domain name service provider. It is dns.widge.

It is marketed as Real-time managed DNS services, with web-based creation and management of your DNS records. It has real-time updates, both primary and secondary DNS services, support for wildcards and round-robin, as well as syntax checker. The interface of the website looks very clean and well designed, so I thought I might just give it a try...

The sign up process is very straightforward. However, it does require a lot of private information to sign up. Besides a working email address, it also needs your address, phone number, and the company you work for. However, the new account is approved right away, instead of going through email verification, etc. So very quickly I landed in their Manage DNS page.

The interface for managing your domains is also quite easy to use. On the first page you have your list of existing domains, plus a text field to let you create a new primary or secondary domain. In the individual domain management page, it has some fields to let you modify SOA values, and a list of "key", "type" and "value" fields for the actual DNS entries. The entry type is quite limited - you can only add A, CNAME, MX and NS entries. However, it lets you modify several of them at once, which is quite useful for web applications because of the longer latency. After I added some records, I actually tested whether they are resolvable. And yes, dns.widge does live out what it claims about the real time updates - all my new records get resolved immediately.

It provides 2 NS so it can host a complete domain. However, these two NS might actually be the same box, or at least they are on the same network. This kind of configuration probably won't help if the ISP gets stuffed.

Overall, dns.widge provides a nice and easy to use interface for managing domains on-line, and its real-time update is really nice. However, it might not be suitable if you are seeking to more complicated DNS entry types (AAAA, for example).

Updated on 1 May 2003: Just got an email from the widge team:

The widge team has worked hard on dns.widge.net and are honored to bring free DNS services to all. We have learned a lot in the process and appreciated all the support and feedback we have received in return.

However, in order to maintain a continually excelling level of service, we must charge yearly fees for most of our services. We will still provide free DNS for third level domains on gigan.to, outstando.com, widge.to and widge.org.

It is a sad news for those who seek good free DNS providers. Now it charges USD$7.95 per zone per year, if you host less than 10 zones. It is in fact quite expensive when you have other free alternatives out there.

All the best to the guys at widge.

Updated on 2 May 2004: One year after I last have updated this entry, I did not expect to return to have more say. From the comments, it seems that widge.net is not contactable at all - all 4 DNS servers are out of touch. Feel free to comment on this page.