What Are DNS Records and When You Need DNS Lookup

What Are DNS Records and When You Need DNS Lookup
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What are DNS records

DNS (Domain Name System) is the Internet’s phone book. It uses the IP address as a phone number, and domains as contact names.

Domain information is stored on DNS servers. To add this information to the DNS system, you need to set up resource records. With their help, servers share domain information with other servers. As long as the resource records for the domain are not registered, it is not in the “phone book” of the Internet. Therefore, the operation of the site or mail on it is impossible. Before you start specifying resource records, you need to delegate the domain, that is, register DNS servers for it.

There are exist the following key resource records types: A, CNAME, MX, TXT, and SPF records.

DNS records types

A

The A (address) entry is one of the key DNS records. It is needed to connect the domain with the server IP address. Until the A-record is registered, your site will not work. When you enter the name of the site in the address bar of the browser, it is by the A-record that the DNS determines which server to open your site from.

CNAME

CNAME (Canonical name) – a record that is responsible for binding subdomains (for example, app.sitechecker.pro) to the canonical domain name (sitechecker.pro) or another domain. The main function of CNAME is to duplicate domain resource records (A, MX, TXT) for various subdomains.

MX

This is the record responsible for the server through which mail will work. MX records are critical to mail. Thanks to them, the sending party “understands” which server to send mail to for your domain.

TXT

TXT (Text string) – a record that contains any text information about the domain. TXT records are used for a variety of purposes: proof of domain ownership, email security, and confirmation of an SSL certificate. You can register an unlimited number of TXT records if they do not conflict with each other.

SPF

The SPF record (Sender Policy Framework) contains information about the list of servers that have the right to send letters on behalf of a given domain. The SPF setting is written in the TXT records for the domain.

NS

The NS record (Authoritative name server) points to the DNS servers that are responsible for storing the remaining resource records in the domain. The number of NS records must strictly correspond to the number of all servers serving it. Critical for DNS.

SOA

SOA (Start of Authority) – the initial entry of the zone, which indicates on which server the reference information about the domain name is stored. Critical for DNS.

How to use DNS lookup

DNS lookup is used to view DNS records of a certain website. Enter a domain name and press “Start”. Then you will get the full report.

  • Check your DNS records before website launch or website migration.
  • Check IP address of your website and competitors’ websites.
  • Check hosting provider of competitors’ websites.
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