DNS Records: The Complete Guide

DNS Records: The Complete Guide

Table of Contents

In order to create a website with its own domain name, you’ll need to utilize DNS records. This guide looks into what DNS records are, how they work, the different types, and how to change your DNS records.

What are DNS Records?

DNS (Domain Name System) records allow users to access websites using familiar domain names rather than complex numerical IP addresses. DNS records are stored in a database and manage various aspects of domain name service policies and host information.

Instead of visiting a website like http://123.456.78.90, DNS records allow you to visit a website by typing in a domain name into your web browser.

How Do DNS Records Work?

DNS records operate by translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses, a process known as DNS resolution.

When a user types a domain name into their browser, the DNS server searches through its records to find the corresponding IP address.

Once found, it directs the user’s internet connection to the correct server.

This lookup process involves several DNS servers, including root name servers, TLD name servers, and authoritative name servers, each playing a critical role in delivering the accurate IP address.

Additionally, the DNS record system protects the IP address of the website from potential harm. That being said, IP addresses can be logged or found through phone numbers.

List of DNS Record Types

Several DNS record types facilitate different functions:

  • A Record: Links a domain to an IPv4 address.
  • AAAA Record: Connects a domain to an IPv6 address.
  • CNAME Record: Points a domain or subdomain to another domain name.
  • MX Record: Directs mail to an email server configured for a domain.
  • TXT Record: Provides textual information associated with a domain, commonly used for verifying domain ownership.
  • SRV Record: Specifies information about available services under a domain.
  • NS Record: Delegates a subdomain to a set of name servers.

Uses for Each DNS Record Type

Each DNS record type has specific uses:

  • A and AAAA Records are used for mapping hostnames directly to their IPv4 or IPv6 addresses, essential for website accessibility.
  • CNAME Records are beneficial for aliasing domain names to another canonical name, often used for managing subdomains.
  • MX Records are crucial for routing emails to correct email servers, ensuring that email services are accurately directed.
  • TXT Records are versatile, used for a variety of purposes including email spam prevention, domain ownership verification, and other server instructions.
  • SRV Records help in service discovery, for example, defining the location of specific services like VOIP or IM.
  • NS Records are used to delegate a specific subdomain to another DNS server, typically useful for organizational subdivisions or external services.

How to Set DNS Records

To set DNS records, follow these steps:

  1. Access Your DNS Provider: Log into the control panel provided by your domain registrar or DNS hosting service.
  2. Navigate to DNS Management: Find the section for managing DNS settings or DNS zone editor.
  3. Add or Modify DNS Records: Select the type of DNS record you want to add or update. Input the necessary details like the IP address for A records, domain name for CNAME records, or mail server information for MX records.
  4. Save Changes: After configuring the records, save the changes. It may take some time for these changes to propagate across the Internet due to DNS caching.

Summary

Setting up and managing DNS records correctly is vital for ensuring that your domain’s internet services run smoothly and are accessible to users worldwide.

By understanding different DNS record types and their specific uses, businesses can better manage their online presence and improve overall internet functionality.