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What Are DNS Records?


DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is the largest digital database in the world, containing information about every web site on the internet. Every web site online has an IP address that is its actual internet location, and this number is used to locate the web site within the database.  The data that tells the web server how to respond to your input is known as the DNS records, or zone files. These records play a vital role in the functionality of the internet, and any aspiring internet technology expert should learn the following facts about DNS records and how they are used.

DNS Records Explained

DNS records are basically mapping files that tell the DNS server which IP address each domain is associated with, and how to handle requests sent to each domain. When someone visits a web site, a request is sent to the DNS server and then forwarded to the web server provided by a web hosting company, which contain the data contained on the site.

Various strings of letters are used as commands that dictate the actions of the DNS server, and these strings of commands are called DNS syntax.  Some DNS records syntax that are commonly used in nearly all DNS record configurations are A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, PTR, NS, SOA, SRV, TXT, and NAPTR. The following paragraph details the meaning and usage of each of these syntax.

DNS Syntax Types Explained

An “A” record, which stands for “address” is the most basic type of syntax used in DNS records, indicating the actual IP address of the domain. The “AAAA” record is an IPV6 address record that maps a hostname to a 128-bit Ipv6 address.  Regular DNS addresses are mapped for 32-bit IPv4 addresses.

The “CNAME” record stands for “canonical name” and serves to make one domain an alias of another domain. CNAME is often used to associate new subdomains with an existing domain's DNS records.

The “MX” record stands for “mail exchange” and is basically a list of mail exchange servers that are to be used for the domain.

The “PTR” record stands for “pointer record” and maps an Ipv4 address to the CNAME on the host.

The “NS” record stands for “name server” and indicates which Name Server is authoritative for the domain.

An “SOA” record stands for “State of Authority” and is easily one of the most essential DSN records because it stores important information like when the domain was last updated and much more.

An “SRV” record stands for “service” and is used to define a TCP service on which the domain operates.

A “TXT” record lets the administrator insert any text they'd like into the DNS record, and it is often used for denoting facts about the domain.

Conclusion

DNS records are an important, yet unseen aspect of how the internet works. If you're studying internet technology or training to become a server administrator, you will definitely need to learn more information about all of the aforementioned DNS record types and their uses.

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