What is DNS?

Jesse Rothschild

DNS, or Domain Name System, is a naming system that translates between domain names (www.cradlepoint.com, for example) and Internet IP addresses ( A DNS server acts as an Internet phone book, translating between names that make sense to people and the more complex numerical identifiers. The DNS page for the device has these distinct functions:

  • DNS Settings: By default your router is set to automatically acquire DNS servers through your Internet provider (Automatic). DNS Settings allows you to specify DNS servers of your choosing instead (Static).
  • Dynamic DNS Configuration: Allows you to host a server (Web, FTP, etc.) using a domain name that you have purchased (www.example.com) with your dynamically assigned IP address.
  • Known Hosts Configuration: Allows you to map a name (printer, scanner, laptop, etc.) to an IP address of a device on the network.

DNS Settings

You have the option to choose specific DNS servers for your network instead of using the DNS servers assigned by your Internet provider. The default DNS servers are usually adequate. You may want to assign DNS servers if the default DNS servers are performing poorly, if you want WiFi clients to access DNS servers that you use for customized addressing, or if you have a local DNS server on your network.


Automatic Config: Automatic or Static (default: Automatic). Switching to “Static” enables you to set specific DNS servers in the Primary DNS andSecondary DNS fields.

Primary DNS and Secondary DNS: If you choose to specify your DNS servers, then enter the IP addresses of the servers you want as your primary and secondary DNS servers in these fields. The DNS server settings will be pre-populated with public DNS server IP addresses. You can override the IP address with any other DNS server IP address of your choice. For example, Google Public DNS servers have the IP addresses and while and are servers from Level 3 Communications.

Force All DNS Requests To Router: Enabling this will redirect all requests from LAN clients to the router’s DNS server. This will allow the router even more control over IP addresses even when clients have their own DNS servers statically set.

Dynamic DNS Configuration

This feature allows you to host a server (Web, FTP, etc.) using a domain name that you have purchased (www.yourname.com) with your dynamically assigned IP address. Most broadband Internet Service Providers assign dynamic (changing) IP addresses. When you use a Dynamic DNS service provider, you can enter your host name to connect to your server, no matter what your IP address is.


  • Enable Dynamic DNS: Enable this option only if you have purchased your own domain name and registered with a Dynamic DNS service provider.
  • Server Type. Select a dynamic DNS service provider from the dropdown list:
    • DynDNS
    • DNS-O-Matic
    • ChangeIP
    • NO-IP
    • Custom Server (DynDNS clone)
  • Custom Server Address. Only available if you select Custom Server from the Server Address dropdown list. Enter your custom DynDNS clone server address here. For example: www.mydyndns.org.
  • Use HTTPS: Use the more secure HTTPS protocol. This is recommended, but could be disabled if not compatible with the server.
  • Host name: Enter your host name, fully qualified. For example: myhost.mydomain.net.
  • User name: Enter the user name or key provided by the dynamic DNS service provider. If the dynamic DNS provider supplies only a key, enter that key for both the User name and Password fields.
  • Password: Enter the password or key provided by the dynamic DNS service provider.

Advanced Dynamic DNS Settings

Update period (hours): (Default: 576) The time between periodic updates to the dynamic DNS, if your dynamic IP address has not changed. The timeout period is entered in hours so valid values are from 1 to 8760.

Override External IP: The external IP is usually configured automatically during connection. However, in situations where the unit is within a private network behind a firewall or router, the network’s external IP address will have to be manually configured in this field.

You may find out what your external IP address is by going to https://myip.dnsomatic.com/ in a web browser.

Known Hosts Configuration

The Known Hosts Configuration feature allows you to map a name (printer, scanner, laptop, etc.) to an IP address of a device on the network. This assigns a new hostname that can be used to conveniently identify a device within the network, such as an office printer.


Click Add to name a device in your network.


Fill in the following fields:

  • Hostname: Choose a name that is meaningful to you. No spaces are allowed in this field.
  • IP address: The address of the device within your network.

EXAMPLE: a personal laptop with IP address could be assigned the name “MyLaptop”.

Since the assigned name is mapped to an IP address, the device’s IP address should not change. To ensure that the device keeps the same IP address, go to Network Settings → DHCP Server and reserve the IP address for the device by selecting the device in the Active Leases list and clicking “Reserve”.