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Barracuda WAF-as-a-Service

Apex Domains

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An apex domain, also known as a root, bare, or naked domain, is essentially a domain without a fully qualified domain name or FQDN (e.g., Most organizations have an apex domain, like Apex domains cannot have CNAME records; they can only have A Records. 

For more information about Apex domains, why they cannot have CNAME records, and require redirects, refer to CNAME at the apex of a zone – an article by the ISC (International Systems Consortium), which is responsible for the BIND DNS server.


  • An apex domain can only ever point to a single application.
  • If you do not have a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), you must change the configuration of your webserver (in WordPress, for example), to use an FQDN ( instead of the apex domain (

To set a location for an apex domain for your application:

  1. On the Applications page, click the link for the target application. 
  2. On the Endpoints page, if they do not already exist, create both your:
    • apex domain
    • fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
  3. Review any existing redirects for the domain on the web server. If there is already a redirect rule for the apex domain, you must disable or delete that rule before continuing.

    Important: Having more than one active redirect rule for an apex domain can lead to a redirect loop and cause a service outage until it is fixed.

  4. Navigate to the URL Access & Redirects page. If it is not already set, switch Enable URL Access & Redirects to On

  5. Add a new URL rule to redirect from your apex domain to another, non-apex domain.
    Barracuda Networks recommends using this form of URL redirect rule, being sure to include the %s : https://www.example%s
    Refer to this example for creating your URL redirect rule. Refer to URL Access and Redirects for more information.


  6. Wait about five minutes for the URL rule to take effect.
  7. Optionally test the configuration. For example, in Linux, in your /etc/hosts file, set your domain to point to
    Check that the redirect works as expected before continuing with the next step. 
  8. Return to the Endpoints page. Copy the CNAME value. 
  9. In your DNS management panel, set the CNAME of non-apex domains to the CNAME value you copied in the previous step. Set the A record for the apex domain to the following IP address: Note that this IP address will be the same for all applications.