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Using a Namescheap domain name with AWS EC2

Most of the articles I've read show you how to do this using Route 53. However that costs $0.50/month per domain or $/6 year. Why do that when you can just use namescheaps DNS servers?

Creating an Elastic IP

An elastic IP allows you to switch EC2 instances seamlessly. If you upgrade, or setup a new instance and want to move over this is needed. Otherwise you have to repoint the DNS to the new instance manually every time.  So this is not required, but recommended.
  1. Login to AWS
  2. Click on EC2
  3. Choose Elastic IPs under Network & Security at the left
  4. Click Allocate new address and then Allocate
  5. Select the new row created
  6. Click on actions and select Associate address
  7. Choose your EC2 instance and the private IP and click associate

Configuring Namescheap DNS

If you haven't already, login to the EC2 dashboard and select your instance. Note the new Public IP and Public DNS, we'll need these. Now we have tell Namescheap's DNS servers to point to our EC2 instance.

  1. Login to Namescheap
  2. Click on the Domain List and click Manage for the domain you want to use 
  3. Now click the Advanced DNS tab 
  4. There will be two Host Records 
  5. In the Value column of the "CNAME Record" row it will say "parkingpage.namescheap.com". Paste in the Public DNS of your EC2 instance
  6. Click Add a new record and choose "A Record" 
  7. In the new  "A Record" row put "@" in the Host column and copy in the Public IP of your EC2 instance into the "Value" column.
  8. Click Save all changes

There's more info here if you need it https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/319/2237/how-can-i-set-up-an-a-address-record-for-my-domain

You should be able to get to your EC2 instance using the Namescheap domain!  Now go enjoy the $6 PER DOMAIN you saved by not using Route 53!

Happy surfing!

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