A Short Guide to Understanding DNS Records and DNS Lookup
The domain name system (DNS) is one of the most important components of the Internet infrastructure. Initially, the concept seems simple, but it becomes rather complex when you dig into the details. DNS records are database records that map URLs to IP addresses. A DNS record is a piece of information stored in a DNS server that is used to help users connect their websites to the outside world. To fetch the domain’s DNS information, many online DNS lookup tools help you to get the required information.
Moreover, webmasters often need to dive into the world of DNS records to solve everyday problems. For the successful management of these systems, it is not necessary to master all of their intricacies. Most scenarios you will encounter can be understood by acquiring a basic understanding.
This article will discuss the basics of DNS records and their types. If you’re interested and want to learn about it, read it thoroughly.
What are DNS Records Used For?
DNS was created to solve the problem that computers are better at working with numbers than people are. The basic function of this program is to map names (domain names) to telephone numbers (IP addresses), much like a telephone directory.
A unique number is associated with almost every internet-connected device, called an IP address (internet protocol address), such as 123.456.98.22. A unique IP address is essential to the operation of a network.
As far as websites are concerned, the entire Internet constitutes the network. In DNS, an individual mapping that links an IP address to a resource is called a resource record. Resource records are collected into zones, which are stored on nameservers.
What are the Most Common Types of DNS Records?
The authoritative DNS server stores DNS records as text files (zone files). DNS record files contain a series of commands easily understood by a DNS server. DNS records work on the basics following types. These types are necessary for DNS to perform work properly.
If you carry out a DNS lookup, then you will need to check the following domain name system records at the top-most priority:
- A record: Contains the IPv4 address of the domain.
- AAAA record:This record contains the IPv6 address associated with a domain.
- CNAME record:This type of record does not contain an IP address. This is an alias for one hostname to another. It is primarily used to forward domains or subdomains from one to another.
- MX record: This type of record sends emails directly to the mail server. An MX record specifies the SMTP server addresses for a domain.
- NS record:This record contains information regarding the domain’s name servers. In setting up the system, authoritative nameservers and their addresses were created.
- PTR record: PTR records redirect IP addresses to hostnames. As part of its reverse IP lookups, it provides a domain name.
- SRV record:This type of record specifies the port number of a particular service. This is similar to MX but uses a different communication protocol.
- SOA record: This type of record contains information about a domain, such as a contact information for its administrator, the serial number of the domain, and when DNS information must be refreshed.
- TXT record: This type of record contains information about the domain in text form. For example, SPF, Opportunistic encryption, DKIM, and DMARC.
What are Some of the Less-Commonly Used DNS Records?
Here’s the list of the DNS records you may not have heard of or use very often:
- HIP record– This record uses the ‘Host identity protocol’, which separates IP addresses by roles. In mobile computing, this record is most commonly used.
- IPSECKEY record– This record is associated with Internet Protocol Security (IPSEC), an end-to-end security protocol that is a component of the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
- LOC record– In this record, longitude and latitude coordinates are used to identify the geographical location of a domain.
- NAPTR record– This record can be combined with an SRV record to create URIs based on a regular expression dynamically.
- NSEC record– This record is part of DNSSEC and is used to verify that a requested resource record does not exist.
- RRSIG record– This record stores digital signatures used for DNSSEC authentication.
- RP record– This record contains the email address of the domain’s responsible person.
- DNSKEY record– This record contains a public key used to verify domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC).
- CDNSKEY record– This is a child copy of the DNSKEY record, intended for transfer to an adult.
- CERT record– This record contains public key certificates.
- DCHID record– This record identifies the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), a standardized IP network protocol.
Note: When you change your DNS server, your DNS records will also change, and it will take some time to be fully propagated or distributed throughout the global network of DNS servers. You can use https://whatsmydns.me/ to check whether all your DNS records are fully propagated.
A DNS record’s primary function is to inform servers how to respond to DNS requests. It is also important to understand some of these factors to understand better what is happening on your network. There are different types of DNS records, each with its significance. These records are essential for the functioning of DNS. The DNS lookup tool on this website provides a comprehensive report of any website’s DNS records.