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What is a DNS Record?

KB242 Last reviewed 18 November 2015
A short explanation of DNS records and their types.

Overview

A DNS record is a mapping between an Internet domain name and an Internet Protocol address (an IP address). Without DNS records, your website will not be accessible nor will you be able to receive email messages sent to your domain.

When you enter an address like www.mydomain.com into your web browser, the browser performs a DNS lookup to get the IP address for www.mydomain.com. Once it has obtained the IP address - known as resolving - the browser will then request the website from the server that uses the IP address.

If you registered your domain through Calzada Media, you domain is most likely hosted by us. You may manage your domain's DNS zone though the My Account section of our website.

DNS Record Types

There are different types of DNS records each with its' own role. If you registered your domain through Calzada Media, a set of default DNS records will have been created as part of the registration process.

A or AAAA - Address Record

An "A" record - which stands for address is the most common and basic type of DNS record and is used to indicate the actual IP address for a specified name or address.

A records point to IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses. A "AAAA" record is used to map hostnames to IP version 6 (IPv6) addresses.

CNAME - Canonical Address

A CNAME record is best described as an alias to another domain address. The target of a CNAME does not have to be within the same domain.

MX - Mail Exchange

An MX record is used to identify and define mail exchange servers for a domain. A mail exchanger is a server that will handle email messages sent to a domain. In nearly all cases, a mail exchanger is the same as a mail server.

PTR - Pointer Record

A PTR record is used to map an IPv4 address to a CNAME on the host.

NS - Nameserver

A NS record is used to define the nameservers that are authorative for a domain. Every domain's DNS zone should contain at least two NS records. By default all domains managed by

SOA - Start of Authority

A SOA record is an extremely important record as it is used to store important information like when a domain was last updated. You are not able to manage SOA records through our control panel.

SRV - Service

A SRV record is used to identify a TCP service on which a domain operates.

TXT - Text Record

A TXT record is used to hold text information. There really is no limit on what text may be entered. TXT records are commonly used to store Sender Policy Framework (SPF) data.

Additional Information

DNS records are an incredibly important component of the Internet. Without DNS, web and email services will not operate.

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