Case Study - Defending against DDoS attacks, improving DNS management, and enhancing web redirects

What is DNS A record?

The A Record points your hostname to an IP address. The A in A record stands for Address. This is one of the most frequently used records in the DNS Zones and it is an essential part of your DNS configuration. The record A specifies IP address (IPv4) for a given host. In other words, it resolves a domain name (or points the domain name) to the correct location by means of the IP address. You can achieve a lot with A records, like using multiple A records for the same domain for redundancy and fallbacks. You could point multiple names to the same address, in this way each would have its own A record pointing to that same IP address.

The DNS A record has the following look in your ClouDNS Control Panel:

Host Type Points to: TTL
hostname.com A ip.of.your.website 1 Hour

Why do you need an A record?

Let's say you have a website. That site is hosted on a web server with the corresponding IP address for it. You also have purchased a domain name for your site. Now you need to link them. And here is where the A record comes. It simply maps your domain to your server's IP address. This allows a user to connect and load a website, without the need of memorizing and typing the actual IP address of the website. The user's web browser automatically does the job by sending a query to a DNS resolver.

DNS A record is important mainly for these reasons:

  • Web Accessibility: A record translates your domain name into an IP address, ensuring users can access your website easily.
  • IP Address Mapping: It associates your domain with a specific IPv4 address, facilitating the correct routing of traffic to your server.
  • Load Balancing: By using multiple A records, incoming traffic can be distributed evenly across multiple servers for improved performance and reliability.

How to create it?

Log in your ClouDNS account, enter your DNS zone management page, and click on the Add new record button. For Type choose "A" and type as follow:

Type: A
TTL: 1 Hour
Host:
Points to: ip.of.your.website

How to add it? - Step by Step video:

A Record vs CNAME Record

The A records and the CNAME records are the two most commonly used records and sometimes you can easily get confused when to use A and when CNAME. With A record, the hostname is resolved to the corresponding IP address. On the other hand, CNAME records (for canonical name) map your hostname to another hostname. This is useful for pointing many hosts to the same place and updating them easily. An example of this can be seen below:

Host Type Points to: TTL
panel.cloudns.net A 185.107.80.223 1 Hour
www.panel.cloudns.net CNAME panel.cloudns.net 1 Hour

A Record vs AAAA Record

A records and AAAA records are both types of DNS records used to map domain names to IP addresses. A records map a domain to an IP address in IPv4 format, while AAAA records map a domain to an IP address in IPv6 format. A records are the oldest and most commonly used type of DNS records, while AAAA records began being used more commonly once IPv6 addresses became popular. Both types of records are essential for websites to be accessible on the internet, and the correct records must be set up for a domain name for it can be reached online. An example of this can be seen below: 

Host Type Points to: TTL
panel.cloudns.net A 185.107.80.223 1 Hour
panel.cloudns.net AAAA 2a00:1768:6001:10::2:233 1 Hour

How to check DNS A records?

You can perform a dig lookup for the relevant domain name with the following Dig command:

$ dig cloudns.net

You can check the DNS A record with Nslookup as well. A sample is shown below:

$ nslookup cloudns.net

You can test the A record also with the Linux Host command. To do it, type the following command:

$ host -t a cloudns.net

The outputs for three methods will show which IP addresses this domain resolves to.

If you prefer using an online tool, you can check your DNS A records with ClouDNS Free DNS tool.

How to start managing A records for your domain name?

  1. Open free account from here - free forever
  2. Verify your e-mail address
  3. Log into your control panel
  4. Create new Master DNS from the [add new] button - read more here
  5. Add the A records you need as it is described in this article

Support 

ClouDNS provides full support for A records for all our DNS services, including the listed below. Just write to our technical support, if you need any assistance with your DNS records configuration. Our Technical Support team is online for you 24/7 via live chat and tickets.

FAQ

Question: What is the maximum length of an A record?

Answer: The maximum length of an A record is 255 characters. 

Question: What is the syntax for an A record?

Answer: The syntax for an A record is typically “hostname IN A ip_address

Question: Can I have multiple IP addresses for the same domain name?

Answer: Yes, you can have multiple A records for the same domain name. Each record will point to a different IP address.

Question: What is the difference between an A record and an AAAA record?

Answer: An A record is used to map a domain name to an IPv4 address while an AAAA record is used to map a domain name to an IPv6 address.

Question: Can I use A records and CNAME records together?

Answer: Yes, you can use A records and CNAME records together. A records are used to map a domain name to an IP address, while CNAME records are used to map a subdomain to another domain name.

Question: What other types of DNS records do I need?

Answer: In addition to an A record, you may need to configure other records as well, such as CNAME and CAA records. These records can help improve your website's security and performance.


Last modified: 2024-02-06
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