What is a DNS record?

A DNS record, also known as resource record or simply RR, has specific rules in a DNS zone. The DNS records are completely made of text. That makes them very light. Those written instructions are stored inside zone files. There are forward lookup DNS zones, Reverse lookup DNS zones, Primary DNS zones, and Secondary DNS zones. They can host different recourse records.

Depending on the request, the DNS servers start searching for a specific type of a DNS record like an A DNS record that points a hostname to an IP, MX for accepting mail messages, another hostname, or a particular service of a hostname.

As we mentioned before, the DNS records are just text, so they are easy to edit. Please pay attention when you are changing any parameter on them, because that can lead to incorrect redirection or not responding service.

In this category, you can read about the different DNS records we support and how to configure them correctly.

Most commonly used DNS record types:

A record – Address record points a domain/hostname to a specified IPv4 address direction. Use it to set your domain name to its proper location.

AAAA record – Quad A record points a hostname to a specified IPv6 address. The distinction, compared to the A record, is the version of the IP address.

CNAME record – Canonical Name (CNAME) record shows that one domain has another “real”, or “canonical” domain name. The best way to use it is for subdomains.

MX record – Mail exchanger (MX) DNS record shows which mail server is in charge of accepting emails for the domain. It allows email clients to send messages to the right destination.

TXT record – DNS record that stores text-based information about a domain. There are more than a few TXT records like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. They are often used for verification and security.

NS record – It is also known as a Nameserver DNS record. Its purpose is to redirect to the nameserver for the DNS zone. Every domain should have an NS record that has to be accurately configured and maintained.

SOA record – The Start of Authority (SOA) record is an important DNS record that provides administrative information about a domain. It shows where the authority starts. It includes the primary name server and has global parameters for the zone.

SRV record – The SRV (Service) record is a type of DNS record that provides information about available services on a domain. This record indicates the location of servers for a particular service.

PTR record – A PTR (Pointer) record is a type of DNS record that serves the purpose of Reverse DNS lookups. It will point an IP address to a domain/hostname.

Web Redirect record – The Web Redirect (WR) record (also known as URL redirect or HTTP forwarding) allows you to redirect the requests for http://yourdomain.com to http://anotherdomain.com.

Less commonly used DNS record types:

ALIAS record – This DNS record demonstrates that one domain is an alias for another, but contrary to CNAME, you can use it for the root domain too.

CAA record – You can add a Certification Authority Authorization record to show which Certificate Authorities (CAs) can issue SSL/TLS certificates for the domain.

DS record – Delegation Signer (DS) record is an essential component of DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). Use the Delegation Signer to secure delegations in DNSSEC. It establishes a chain of trust in the DNS hierarchy and provides cryptographic signatures for DNS records.

RP record – RP (Responsible Person) record is a type of DNS record that provides information about the person or entity responsible for a particular domain. It shows the mailbox of the hostname’s administrator.

TLSA record – TLSA (Transport Layer Security Authentication) record associates TLS certificate to the name of the domain. It provides an additional layer of security.

NAPTR record – NAPTR (Naming Authority Pointer) record is a type of DNS record that is commonly used in Internet telephony to map servers and addresses of users in SIP.

You can find information about all available DNS record types in the left sidebar.

Why are DNS records important?

DNS records play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Internet. They act as a backbone for web browsing and email delivery, translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. In addition, these records provide crucial information about a domain, such as the address of the website's server or the location of the email server. By accurately configuring DNS records, businesses can enhance their online presence, improve website performance, and strengthen email deliverability. Properly managed DNS records also allow effortless domain migrations and simplify the implementation of security measures like SSL certificates.

Last modified: 2023-05-17
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