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Understanding Domain Name DNS Records

Reading Time: 4 minutes
DNS

We all know that computers understand only numbers and not human language. Thus, in the digital era computers identify each other with IP address that is unique.

So the question is computers don’t understand human language how do they understand and load a website which we type in URL?

The answer is DNS!

In order to bridge the communication gap between humans and computers and make communication easier, engineers developed DNS. As we humans identify each other with names, countries, etc., similarly, in the world of networking, computers identify other devices over a network through numbers.

At Netspace all domain names registered through us get a free DNS management 

DNS resolves names to numbers i.e. domain name to IP address.

Table of Contents

What is DNS?

DNS is also known as Domain Name System that works like a phone book and as a translator for the internet between humans and computers.

DNS maintains a record where domain names and numbers are mapped like,

i.e. www.example.com -> 74.142.25.102

Let’s understand this with an example. For instance, when we type www.google.com in a web browser, DNS translates it to the web browser language i.e. IP address and passes it again to the web browser.

Web browser understands that we want to access google.com so it contacts google server and loads google.com in our device.

DNS Server Working

Servers are computers that store HTML documents, media files such as images, videos, sound clips, etc. 

The server that works together to provide the IP addresses of the requested website to the web browser is DNS servers.

DNS working

For instance, the user wants to open www.example.com. Once the user enters this URL in the browser and enters, the request is sent to the DNS server. The DNS server works like a phonebook and maps the name and dedicated IP address of the requested website. On mapping the requested URL with its IP address, the IP address is forwarded and searched on the server-side, which then loads example.com on client-side. 

Types of DNS Server

Yes.

If we know dedicated IP address of website we can easily access it by simply typing its IP address in web browser. When we know IP address of website, DNS will not play any role in such cases.

However, as the number of website and search increases it gets difficult remember all numbers (IP addresses). So, DNS server eliminates the need for humans to memorize all the complex numbers. And what we need to remember is domain names!

Under DNS manager you can edit and manage your DNS records.

At Netspace, DNS record are managed at

1. Domain level and 2. Hosting level. 

To manage DNS at Domain Level, visit our knowledgebase  DNS Management from Domain Panel.

Hosting Level is managed on Plesk. For more information visit our knowledgebase Manage DNS in Plesk.

DNS Record Types

DNS has different types, and each DNS type fulfils different requirements to manage a domain name. 

Let us understand each type of DNS record in detail. 

A Record (address)

Address Mapping record – a most fundamental type of DNS record where A stands for ‘address’, a hostname and its corresponding IPv4 address are stored and act as a translator by converting domain names to IP addresses, also known as DNS host records. Basically, it indicates the IP address of a given domain.

AAAA Record (quad A)

IP Version 6 Address record – the hostname and its corresponding IPv6 address are stored.

CNAME Record (Canonical Name)

CNAME record must point to a domain name and not the IP address. For instance, you’ve multiple sub-domains like www.s1.com, www.s2.com, www.s3.com and you want these subdomains to point to your main domain name like www.main.com, so CNAME forwards one domain or subdomain to another domain without providing an IP address.

Cname is used to alias a hostname to another hostname.

Mail eXchange and  Name server records cannot point to a CNAME record.

CNAME record cannot point to another CNAME record as multiple DNS lookups are required before loading the domain.

SOA Record (Start of Authority)

This record stores details about admin information, domains, information about domain administrator, in what intervals DNS details for each zone should be refreshed, appears at the start of a DNS zone file, states the Authoritative Name Server for the current DNS zone, domain serial number.

NS Record (name server)

Name Server Record states which domain name servers are authoritative for that particular domain. This means it states which server contains actual DNS records. It tells the internet where to find a domain’s IP address. NS records can never point to a CNAME record.

DNS propagation is the period when you update your nameserver for a domain, it takes 24-48 hours to update this effect on the internet globally. For more information, visit our knowledge Nameserver Propagation time.

MX Record (Mail eXchange)

The mail exchanger record directs email to the mail server. It uses mail servers to map on which IP(domain name) to deliver the mail. Following SMTP, it specifies how email messages should be routed.

For example here is MX record example of Google Workspace.

SRV Record (service)

SRV, a service location record, allows services such as VoIP or instant messaging to be directed to different port locations and hosts. It specifies a port for specific services.

PTR Record (pointer)

Basically, Reverse-lookup Pointer records are a reverse of A and AAA records that map an IP address to domain names. These records can’t exist in the same zone and require domain authority. 

SPF Record (sender policy framework)

SPF record is a type of DNS text that helps prevent email spoofing and limits spammers by listing all the servers that are authorized to send emails from a particular domain.

TXT (text) Record

TXT lets domain admin enter arbitrary text in DNS. It was intended as a place for human-readable but now machine-readable data such as DKIM, opportunistic encryption, DMARC, etc. can be carried. It also can be used for framework policies, email validation, domain ownership for security purposes.

SPF records are to used to prevent email spoofing, reduce risk of phishing attacks, reduce spam emails, increase email deliverability, DMARC compliance.

If you have any questions regarding any specific DNS type, please feel free to comment below and I will answer all your question. 

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Tejaswini

I’m translating complex technical ideas into concise, business-oriented content and storylines! I ensure every article we publish is EPIC. My team and I help people better understand their search.

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