Do you know what types of DNS records are out there? If you don’t know them all, don’t worry, we will explain them all in brief. By identifying them, you can easily manage your DNS plan in the best possible way.
But first, let’s explain a little bit more about what DNS records actually are.
DNS records briefly explained
DNS records are simple text-based instructions for a specific domain name. Their main purpose is to set precise rules for the domain. Additionally, they are created and gathered in a zone file in the DNS zone. All that information is stored on the Authoritative DNS server for the particular domain name. As we mentioned, DNS records are completely made of text. Therefore, they are pretty light. That allows DNS administrators to edit and adjust them easily.
Every DNS record type has a different function, so each of them is important for the proper management of the domain name. Moreover, when a user makes a request, the Recursive DNS servers search for a precise DNS record type.
For the rest of this article, we are going to present to you some of the most important and interesting DNS record types.
SOA (Start of Authority) shows the start of the authority DNS zone and specifies the global parameters of the zone. Every zone must have one, and you can’t add two per zone. It has the following parameters: Serial number, Primary Nameserver, DNS admin’s email, Refresh Rate, Retry Rate, Expire Time and TTL.
A and AAAA Records
The mail exchanger record verifies the mail server for receiving emails. Basically, it says which server should receive the incoming emails. If it is not directed well, you won’t receive emails.
Canonical Name. It points to another name, not to an IP like the A and AAAA records. It serves just for subdomains; you can add only one per hostname.
There are different TXT records. People can easily understand some and machines read others. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) record is TXT record which associates a domain name with a specific email message; DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) Record serves to identify and block spam and phishing mails by verifying the emails.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) which shows who is authorized to send emails with a particular domain. Without it, all the emails you send will go directly to the spam folder of the recipients.
NS from Nameservers, this record points the domain to its name servers responsible for the DNS zone.
SRV records are defining the locations of servers for specified services.
Web Redirect does precisely what it says; it redirects from one address to another. There are few types: 301 redirect which is a constant redirect, 302 redirect which is temporary, if the address has been moved but not permanently. You can do such a redirection with SSL too.
ALIAS record is a very similar to the CNAME record. It allows you to add various hostnames for the same subdomain. You can use it for the root domain as well. This type of record is built into the ClouDNS.
Responsible person record shows who is responsible for the domain and specifies its email.
Secure Shell Fingerprint record is used for Secure Shell (SSH). The SSHFP record is typically used with DNSSEC enabled domains. When an SSH client connects to a server, he or she checks the corresponding SSHFP record. If there is a match, the server is legit, and it is safe to connect to it.
Pointer record, are opposite to the A and AAAA records. They match the IPs to hostnames. Use them for Reverse DNS.
IP telephony uses Naming Authority Pointer records for mapping the servers and the users’ addresses in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
Certification Authority Authorization record gives the ability to the DNS domain name holder to issue certificates for his/her domain. The record can set policies for the whole domain or for specific hostnames.
This record will match request for non-existing domain names. It is specified with a “*” for example *.cloudns.net
If you want to learn more about those DNS records and to see examples of them and video tutorial about how to create them, you can check our Wiki.
Knowing more DNS records and how to use them will give you an advantage in your DNS usage. You can manage better, and you can get better results.
If you can’t figure how to use some of the records on your own, you can always contact our Technical Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) who would be happy to help you.