Basic Guide For Appliansys DNSBox

This is a basic guide for Appliansys DNSBox. The Appliansys DNSBox is a custom DNS appliance ideally suited to DNS provision for SMB and corporate networks. Further the appliance is also capable (depending on a suitable licence) of providing DHCP and Time Services.

This document gives you a basic understanding of the configuration of a working unit.


When you connect to the box, it will immediately alert you to any conditions it believes are important. In this case this box has two warnings:

Access to the box has not been restricted to particular IP hosts or subnets.

The DHCP service is not running (the customer is licensed to use DHCP but chooses not to on this particular unit)

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These warnings appear in summary on the System/Overview screen.

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The System/Services screen shows us all the services that should be running. The dhcpd service is highlighted as having an issue. (In fact we have disabled the daemon from running)

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We can ensure we know about issues as they occur by having the box send an alert from the System/Alerting screen.

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The mail server and account used to send the email is defined in the Network/Email screen (the account for this site has been obscured)

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The device IP address is defined on the Network/Setting screen

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together with the DNS resolvers (2 of 3 defined servers are shown) the device will use to handle DNS requests on behalf of your internal clients. Typically these specified resolvers would be those provided by your ISP (though we show the Google resolvers) and by using the DNSBox you provide a way of divorcing your user DHCP or static IP configurations from the actual ISP you use which assists greatly as and when you transition between ISPs. Equally, you could use other internal DNS capable servers as the resolvers this device queries, perhaps in collaboration with ActiveDirectory.

Notice that we also provide a default route out to the edge of the network so that this device can fetch DNS records for users.


You must specify the IP subnets that are permitted to use this device as their DNS resolver in the DNS/Recursive/Settings screen (or it will serve nothing!). The IP address of the resolver you pass to your users is that which was set in the Network/Settings screen above.

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We see a summary of the relevant DNS settings on the DNS/Overview screen. Here the box is used only as a resolver, but it can equally act as a fully-featured Authoritative DNS server. One typical use for this is to specify wholly internal domains for development or other teams.

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Backups of your configuration can be done on demand or overnight. If conducting a manual backup, the most important point is to make sure you select the ‘All configuration’ radio button rather than the default ‘DHCP lease data’ radio button.

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Finally, the device firmware is shown at the bottom of each screen but you may also see it on the System/Firmware page. When firmware is upgraded the previous version is kept locally on each device to provide an easy rollback in the event of an issue.

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