Custom DNS with appfleet

The appfleet edge platform allows you to easily build and host your own custom DNS with multiple regions globally. Host your own private DNS to support your unique use-cases without limitations!

appfleet is an edge platform

We host your dynamic services globally closer to your users

Globally Load-Balanced

Host your service, site or application on multiple locations at the same time. Be closer to your users and improve your performance and uptime.

Any tech-stack

appfleet is a cloud-based container hosting platform that allows you to deploy your code in any language, framework or technology.

Serverless Containers

Run stateless and stateful containers on a fully managed globally distributed infrastructure. No servers or routing to manage.

What is DNS?

DNS (Domain Name System) in simple terms is a database which links domain names to IP addresses. Computers communicate with each other over networks utilizing IP addresses.
But humans are bad with numbers and they prefer using domain names instead.
DNS is a technology which was built to provide both humans and computers with the best of both worlds. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses - so that humans and computers both can use their own language.

There are generally two kinds of DNS servers - Public and Authoritative.
Public DNS (aka DNS resolver) is the one most people are familiar with, like, etc. They are recursive resolvers that communicate with authoritative DNS servers on the behalf of users to resolve a domain name into a final IP address. They do not have any information themselves and have to ask other servers to help them resolve a domain. Instead they utilize local caching methods to cache answers and respond to users faster. Having one geographically close to you will often result in better internet speeds.
On the other hand authoritative DNS is primarily used by DNS resolvers to resolve domain to IP addresses correctly as they actually contain the mappings. Each domain name on the internet registers it’s authoritative DNS servers which are called nameservers to make everyone aware who they should ask for the latest known IP addresses. Fast and globally distributed nameservers will also result in faster websites for all users.
Authoritative DNS is what most DNS companies are selling when they say DNS Hosting.

Apart from mapping domain names to IP addresses, DNS can also be used for content filtering. DNS resolvers can selectively block queries for domains that are known to be malicious or unwanted. For this reason they are also often used as network wide ad blockers.
Traditionally DNS has been a cleartext protocol - which means that all the DNS queries are sent in cleartext over the wire. This makes it vulnerable to privacy invasion as it’s very easy for middlemen to snoop in and find out the domain names users are trying to resolve. To overcome this limitation there’s a new protocol available (though not so widely adapted) called DoH (DNS over HTTPS).

Drawbacks of traditional DNS Hosting

Drawbacks of Authoritative DNS

A good and fast DNS hosting service will make your website faster and save you from downtime, but not all services are reliable and often they offer basic and barebones services for premium prices. Here are some of the issues you can encounter:

  • Single region and single datacenter hosting is quite often among the cheaper DNS providers but that results in awfully bad performance for all users located far away from the datacenter. Your websites will load slower and if an outage happens all websites hosted with that DNS provider will go down globally.
  • Impossible to debug. If something feels off or breaks down you have no other option than to contact customer support which will more often than not will not be technical and simply try to convince you that it’s your own problem. Forget about logs or config access.
  • Limited functionality. You probably won’t be able to do anything other than basic DNS to IP mapping. Most providers don’t even support ANAME records that are required by many devops platforms. No way to configure any advanced logic, load-balancing and failover either.
  • Pay per usage. Expect to pay for every domain name you want to host and for every query that it serves. Even if some of your domains are low traffic and low priority expect to still pay for them every month.

Drawbacks of Public DNS

The Domain Naming System makes the internet more accessible to users globally but that’s about it.

  • No flexibility. You simply get a domain to IP mapping and nothing else. You have no control over the configuration and feature set.
  • Some public DNS providers like will even harm you by disabling the support for EDNS client subnet. It’s a feature offered by most DNS providers that allows authoritative DNS servers to know the client subnet of the user. This allows them to understand the general location of the user without knowing their full IP and offer them a custom answer. A popular use case for this is GEO load-balancing.
  • No data or privacy controls. You simply have to trust them they won’t log your DNS requests to try to understand what websites you are browsing.

What is a Custom DNS Hosting? And how is it better than a Traditional DNS?

Anyone can host their own DNS by utilizing some free DNS server like PowerDNS, bind9 and Knot DNS. A custom DNS deployment, be it either a DNS resolver or authoritative DNS nameserver gives you full control and can be hosted closer to you and your users in order to reduce latency and improve performance. Some other benefits include:

  • Custom logic and features. You can configure EDNS, set custom answers based on some parameters or even use a MySQL database as a source of mappings for dynamic responses
  • Select only the best regions and better serve your specific users. Only need it for yourself then host it closer to your home, need global performance then deploy to all available appfleet regions.
  • Impose content restrictions and add parental control features by blocking domains directly at DNS resolver level. This includes adblocking features for all devices using your custom DNS resolver
  • A custom DNS can also help avoid censorship in areas where authorities block access to some type of content at DNS level.

Why choose appfleet to build a Custom DNS service?

appfleet enables you to deploy docker containers globally. So all you have to do is compile a DNS application like Bind9 or AdGuardDNS and include all your configuration files within the container.
Next with only a few clicks in our easy to use control panel you can deploy it closer to yourself or your users to ensure low latency and best possible performance. The platform offers you full control of how you want to build your custom DNS, what software to use and where to deploy while automating all infrastructure management.
Building routing, clustering, monitoring and zero-downtime deployment systems to run your containers is not a trivial task and it involves considerable operations/devops work but appfleet provides all of it out of the box.
You can monitor your resources and scale as needed globally or per region depending on the local load and demand.
And thanks to the affordable and unified global bandwidth prices, running your own custom DNS on the appfleet edge platform is often cheaper than using a traditional DNS service.
Try it now without any contracts and pay as you go pricing.

Run your own DNS

and get a fully automated platform with multiple global POPs, high-availability and low latency

…and other features

appfleet doesn’t end with your product’s deployement

Custom health checks

Configure your own custom health checks per application and we will add them to our own internal checks that we continuously run to ensure your service is alive and well

All languages supported

Node.js, PHP, Golang, Java, Python, everything is supported, thanks to Docker containers. Don't let your technology of choice limit you.

Included HTTPS

For any web service we can automatically install and maintain a LetsEncrypt TLS certificate for free.

Better performance

By using multiple regions at the same time you can lower the latency and easily improve performance for your global audience

Public & private registries

Use any public or private container registry like Docker Cloud, Github Registries, Quay, Google Cloud and more

Console access

Assume direct control of your container by connecting directly to it by using our web console

File Cache

All nodes come with a locally mounted caching filesystem that persists between deployments for improved performance


We store and process the output and logs of all deployed applications for easier debugging.


All of your instances are constantly monitored. Get historic and real-time CPU, RAM and Disk usage.

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