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Adding CNAME records
Last updated March 30, 2017
This guide describes how to choose the right hostname and how to update the CNAME record for your domain with your DNS provider. Choosing the appropriate CNAME record is the final step required before Fastly can start acting as a reverse proxy and begin routing client traffic through Fastly services instead of directly to your origin.
Before you begin
Before you add a DNS CNAME record, keep in mind the following:
- To make the changes suggested here you must have access privileges to modify DNS records for your domain.
- If you plan to use Fastly on your apex domain (e.g.,
www.example.com), you can't use a CNAME record. See our guide to using Fastly with apex domains for more details.
Choosing the right Fastly hostname for your CNAME record
To successfully update your DNS CNAME record, you must choose the right Fastly hostname to use. The hostname you choose will differ based on:
- the standard HTTPS (TLS) support requirements for your domain, including whether or not HTTP/2 is enabled.
- any custom TLS options purchased for your domain.
- whether or not you choose to limit your traffic to the US and EU network or use Fastly's global network.
We've provided recommendations below based on these criteria.
Non-TLS hostnames and limiting traffic
If you don't require TLS support and only need to accept HTTP (Port 80) connections, use one of the following hostnames:
nonssl.global.fastly.net.to route traffic through Fastly's entire global network.
nonssl.us-eu.fastly.net.to route traffic through Fastly's US and EU POPs only.
IMPORTANT: Fastly's non-TLS hostnames refuse HTTPS connections (port 443) to prevent TLS certificate mismatch errors.
[letter].shared.global.fastly.net.to route traffic through Fastly's entire global network.
[letter].shared.us-eu.fastly.net.to route traffic through Fastly's US and EU POPs only.
When you purchase one of these certificate services, Fastly Support will add your domains to a specific TLS Certificate, usually differentiated by a certificate letter (e.g.,
c). You'll need to add the appropriate certificate letter to the beginning of the Fastly hostname noted above for use in your CNAME record. For example, if your domain was added to our
a certificate and was being routed through Fastly's entire global network, the above hostname would become:
IMPORTANT: You must use the assigned Fastly TLS hostname provided by Fastly Support. Using the incorrect Fastly hostname will cause a TLS Certificate mismatch error for HTTPS (Port 443) traffic.
Free TLS wildcard Certificate
If you plan to accept both HTTP (port 80) and HTTPS (port 443) connections and you're using Fastly's free shared TLS wildcard certificate, use:
IMPORTANT: The free TLS hostname does not support use with your own domain name (
www.example.com). Customers typically use this the free TLS hostname in links directly to assets (e.g., linking to
https://example.global.ssl.fastly.net/example.jpg) or for testing purposes. If you want to use your own domain (
www.example.com), see the TLS-enabled hostname section above.
Updating the CNAME record with your DNS provider
Once you've determined the appropriate Fastly hostname for your domain, the next step is to create a CNAME record for your domain. The steps you follow will vary depending on your DNS provider's control panel interfaces. Refer to your DNS provider's documentation for exact instructions on how to create or update a CNAME record.
TIP: If you can't find your provider's CNAME configuration instructions, Google maintains instructions for most major providers. Keep in mind that these instructions are maintained by Google, not Fastly, and are tailored specifically for Google enterprise services.
If you run your own DNS server or are familiar with the format of BIND zone files, the CNAME record would look similar to this:
www.example.com. 3600 IN CNAME nonssl.global.fastly.net.
In the above example, the domain set up on Fastly is
www.example.com., with a time-to-live (TTL) of
3600 seconds (1 hour), the Record Type is
CNAME, and the Fastly hostname is
nonssl.global.fastly.net. because TLS support isn't required and traffic will be routed through Fastly's entire global network.
Best practices when updating a DNS CNAME record
- Be sure you've added all domains you want served by Fastly to the appropriate service. If you don't and you point your domain to Fastly, an
unknown domainerror will occur.
- Make sure your service is properly configured. You can test a Fastly service on your local machine by using cURL and our Testing setup before changing domains guides.
- If you have multiple hostnames on the same domain (e.g.,
app.example.com), you can use a DNS wildcard record (
*.example.com) at your DNS provider so only a single CNAME record is created and maintained. You should also add either a matching
*.example.comdomain or the individual domains to your Fastly service.
- Before changing a CNAME to point to a Fastly hostname, change your service configuration to lower the CNAME's TTL to a small number (we suggest 60 seconds) and wait for the old TTL to expire. Creating a DNS CNAME record for your domain after the TTL expiration ensures you have an easy way to roll back changes if you encounter an issue. Once you confirm everything is working properly using Fastly, you can increase the TTL to its original value.
Checking your CNAME record
To check your CNAME record, run the following command in a terminal window:
dig www.example.com +short
Your output should appear similar to the following:
In most cases, the hostname displayed first will be your current Fastly hostname (in this case,
nonssl.global.fastly.net.). If you don't see a Fastly hostname in the output or if you see an incorrect Fastly hostname, then either your CNAME isn't properly set at your DNS provider or an older CNAME record is still cached by your local DNS resolver.
Removing CNAME records
If you deactivate a service, delete a service, or cancel your account, we strongly recommend modifying or deleting any CNAME records pointing to Fastly hostnames. Follow the instructions on your DNS provider's website. Doing so will minimize the risk of unauthorized use of your domains.