Major 1&1 DNS Configuration Bug!

1&1, popular website hosting service and domain name registrar, have a very serious problem with their nameserver configuration web interface.

We’re hosting our own domains with 1and1 (pointing to our dedicated servers hosted with the excellent and much-recommended Lunarpages), and were attempting to reconfigure our nameservers to point to a different IP address. We went into the 1&1 admin interface and attempted to re-configure the nameservers to point to the new IP – a week later, the DNS hadn’t yet propogated and we couldn’t find a good explanation.

This was how we had originally set up our nameserver entries in the 1and1 web administration center:


It would seem that these settings would work – we certainly thought so – but unfortunately, there’s a hidden problem that 1and1 doesn’t warn you about: you can’t leave the MX records blank. In our case, we left them blank assuming that would mean they were not to be created. It turns out that 1&1 will silently & invisibly error out under such a configuration – you either set your own, custom MX records or you leave it set to “1&1 mail server” otherwise. Leaving it blank will make it seem like its working (even a quick DNS check (see the link at the top of the image?) will return the correct result) but it’ll never propogate and your old settings will stick.

This is the correct configuration:


As you can see, the only difference is that the MX Record was set to “1&1 mail server” instead of left as custom and blank – this time we saw the expected DNS propogation results within hours!

1and1 had better deal with this problem; either giving you an error if you enter a blank MX record or else understand a blank “Other mail server” option to mean that an MX record shouldn’t be created in the first place. And updating their “DNS Check” service to return the real results isn’t a bad idea either.

5 thoughts on “Major 1&1 DNS Configuration Bug!

  1. I have been having some trouble with their dns also..


    I have set the nameservers to

    where has an a record pointing to my server..


    well, long story short. It acts like it works, then a few days later it says there is an error in the dns…

    This would work on any other domain.. I did the same on godaddy, Why will this not work on 1&1? 

  2. Try doing a DNS report from and see what that gives you.

    Whatever you do, don’t even bother with 1&1 technical support, they’re the very worst (despite all their claims otherwise). I sent them an email over 2 months ago about merging two accounts (they even make money off what I want to do!) and they still haven’t gotten back to me. :|

  3. It’s true… you get what you pay for. 1and1’s control panel gives you a lot of options, and you’ll get pretty decent connection speeds, mysql retrieval speeds, uptime, etc. for some of the lowest prices on the web.

    *However* when it comes to having a specific technical problem like this you’re often on your own. I’m trying to figure out how to point an external domain’s A record to my 1and1 shared environment without having to change the DNS of this external domain (no need to change the DNS servers if we just want to route web traffic to a different server). Their tech support is pathetic. There have (so far) been 4 back-and-forths, each one signed by a different person, each one giving contradictory information or in the very least showing their complete lack of knowledge of how basic DNS works.


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