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DNS, or the Domain Name System, is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses. This is how your browser knows how to find the website you’re looking for when you type in a URL. There are many different DNS types, including:

  1. Caching-only
  2. Authoritative
  3. Recursive
  4. Forwarding

Most Popular DNS Query types and how they are useful

1. Authoritative DNS Query Type

Authoritative DNS is one of the types of DNS when a server hosts the DNS records for a domain and answers queries about those records. For example, if you want to know where “example.com” is hosted, a DNS resolver will ask an authoritative server for that information.

2. Recursive DNS Query Type

Recursive DNS is one of the types of DNS where a server will look up information for you and return it to you. For example, if you want to know what IP address “example.com” resolves to, a recursive server will look up that information for you and return it so that your computer can display it on its screen or use it in another way.

3. Forwarding DNS Query Type

The forwarding DNS types is used to forward all DNS queries for a domain to another name server. This can be useful when you want to run your own name server on your network, but still have requests for the domain forwarded to an external one. This is used for load balancing and minimizing downtime. 

Forwarding DNS query types can be useful for many reasons: if your site is getting lots of traffic and you need help scaling it; if you bought a different domain name and want to use it instead of the old one; or if you’re just trying to make things easier on yourself when it comes to managing your site’s address.

4. Caching-only DNS Query Types

Caching-only DNS is a form of DNS that only caches the results of lookups. In other words, if you ask it for a record and it doesn’t already have it cached, it will go out to the internet and try to find the answer there.

This type of DNS is good for users who want their network to be as fast as possible and don’t mind the occasional delay when they make a request for something new.

It’s also good for people who want to block certain sites or types of content on their network because they can set up “blocklists” that will prevent those sites from being accessed even if they’re not blocked by their firewall or other security software.

DNS Server types: Common DNS server variations

1. Primary DNS server 

These are the primary DNS server types that are responsible for hosting your domain and directing traffic to it. If you’re using a managed DNS service, these are likely not your own servers. 

A primary DNS server is a computer that’s responsible for receiving and responding to requests from other computers on the network. The primary DNS server stores information about the domain name system (DNS) and acts as a central authority for that domain’s DNS records.

The primary DNS server will typically have its own IP address, which can be used by client computers to contact it when they need to resolve a hostname into an IP address. The client will send an Initial Query packet to the Primary DNS Server asking for the IP address associated with a particular hostname, which is then returned in an Answer Query packet. If there are multiple domains hosted on this same computer, it may also function as a secondary DNS server, performing similar tasks for those domains as well.

2. Secondary DNS server

These are secondary servers that act as backups in case your primary server goes down or can’t be reached. Secondary servers are usually hosted by your domain registrar, who will provide instructions on how to set them up if you allow them to manage your DNS.

A secondary DNS server is a server that can be used to retrieve DNS records when the primary DNS server fails or is unavailable. Secondary DNS servers can be configured to automatically update their information from the primary DNS server, which allows you to avoid having to manually update your records when there are changes in your infrastructure.

3. Tertiary DNS server 

These are tertiary servers that act as an additional layer of backup for your primary and secondary servers. They’re generally only necessary if you want to provide even more redundancy than what’s already offered by secondary servers—but they’re also more complicated and time-consuming to configure, so it’s best to just go ahead and set up a secondary server instead if you’re looking for extra protection.

Some common DNS record types

Some of the more common DNS types include:

1. A Records

A Records are used to map an IPv4 address to a domain name. They can be used for any hostname that you want to resolve to an IP address. These records are necessary for any non-local DNS queries to work properly.

2. CNAME Records

CNAME Records allow you to use a single hostname for multiple websites or services. They are used when you want users to access your site by a specific name, but don’t want users to have to remember the actual IP address associated with it (which may change over time).

3. MX Records

MX Records are used by mail servers so they know which email server at an organization should receive email messages on behalf of that organization’s domain name(s). These records instruct mail servers where they should forward emails addressed to domains within that organization’s network.

DNS is incredibly important because it’s what allows us to access websites and other online services from our computers or phones without having to remember all their IP addresses every time we want to access them (which can be difficult if you have multiple devices). If something goes wrong with DNS, though, then it can mean trouble accessing those sites—or even worse!

What is a DNS record? DNS records, or Domain Name System records, are the data that you store in your domain’s database. These records define how your website is hosted and what can be accessed on it. They tell the internet where to find your website and how to interact with it.

The Internet wouldn’t exist without domain names. A lack of domain names would force people to memorize numbers to access websites or be at the mercy of whatever website a search engine chooses to index. The Domain Name System, or DNS, is the foundation of domains. Even though we deal with it daily, most people have no idea what it is.

In this post, we dive deeper into what records are, the various types of DNS records that exist, and how to leverage them. 

What is a DNS record?

DNS records are the building blocks of a domain naming system. They allow you to point a domain to a website, an email address, or another resource on the Internet.

A DNS record is a specific resource record stored in a DNS database that allows you to configure and control other information about your domain name. For example, you can set up your DNS records to tell the world what type of mail server your domain will use (e.g., Microsoft Exchange) or which IP address should be returned when someone visits your website.

DNS records are organized into zones, which correspond to one or more domains under your control. If you own example.com and example2.com domain names, each will have its own set of DNS records.

Common Types of DNS Records

A record

The A record is the most common form of DNS record. An A record points to an IP address for a website or domain name.

A record’s primary application is for IP address lookups. A web browser can load a webpage using the domain name by using an A record. We can therefore access websites on the Internet even though we don’t know their IP addresses.

The blackhole list based on the domain name system is another application for A records (DNSBL). In this case, spam mail is blocked using the A record.

For example, if you have an A record for www.example.com that points to its hosting server’s IP address 192.168.0.1

AAAA Record

AAAA records are part of the IPv6 protocol, which means they are used to assign IPv6 addresses to hosts on the Internet. They can be used to assign an IPv6 address to a hostname (the name of a computer or device) or a hostname to an IPv6 address. 

 

This ability makes them incredibly useful for network administrators who want to assign their devices with custom IPv6 addresses without having to worry about the long strings of numbers that come with addresses like 2001:db8:0:0:0:0:16d9:a5b3 or 2001:db8:8c3f::17e9/128.

AAAA is similar to A records, other than that it stores the more recent IPv6 addresses instead of IPv4. It’s also required for every website hosted on the Internet that uses IPv6.

AAAA records point to IPv6 addresses like: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

.CNAME Record

CNAME records are used to create aliases for your domain. For example, if you have a website at www.example.com, you can use a CNAME record to set up an alias such that if someone types in www.example.com/blog, they’ll actually be taken to blog.example.com—instead of being taken to the root domain itself (www.example.com).

You can also use CNAME records to set up redirects between different versions of your website or app or between different subdomains on the same site. 

Users can create a CNAME record for their domain www.example.net pointing to the server www.example.com:

www.example.net. IN    CNAME   www.example.com.

Nameserver (NS) Record

This record identifies the nameservers for a domain name. It is added to the zone file when you add a new domain to your account and must be set up correctly before creating any other records for that domain.

They tell others on the internet what nameservers you’re using to resolve domain names, making them an essential part of virtually every domain name system (DNS) configuration. NS records help users find their way around the web by providing an authoritative source for DNS information.

The following is an example of a nameserver (NS) record:

example.com NS ns1.example.com

Mail exchange (MX) Record

An MX record specifies the mail servers responsible for accepting email messages sent to a domain name. This kind of record is required if you want to receive email through your domain and Points to an A record or AAAA record that identifies one or more IP addresses on which your mail server(s) are hosted.

The following is a mail exchange (MX) record example for Google’s mail servers:

IN MX 10 aspmx.l.google.com.

TXT Record

It is a type of DNS record that allows you to add additional information about your domain in a textual format. They are typically used in email security and authentication practices

The TXT record’s purpose is to instruct the receiving server on how to validate the mail servers’ source information. The primary method employed by mail servers to demonstrate the validity of an email, particularly for SPF authentication, is the SPF TXT record.

Example of a TXT record (“v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all”)

Common TXT record types 

DMARC Record

DMARC email authentication protocol is one of the best ways to protect your brand against spoofing. By inserting a DMARC TXT record into your domain’s DNS settings, you can prevent attackers from sending malicious emails on behalf of your domain to your potential customers and employees.

A DMARC policy lets you tell mail receivers what to do with messages that fail authentication. 

SPF TXT Record

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It’s a method of preventing unauthorized use of your domain name in emails. It is a text file that you can create to prevent your email from being marked as spam, which can happen if someone uses your domain name without authorization, to send emails. If you want to set up an SPF TXT record, you’ll need administrative access to your domain’s DNS settings. 

You can create this record by using an SPF record generator tool. 

DKIM Record

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) helps ensure an email message is authentic by verifying that its contents haven’t been altered during transmission. It is effective against email interceptions, and in mail forwarding scenarios. 

SOA Record

All domains use the Start of Authority records to specify their primary name server, the authoritative source for information about the zone, and responsible for the overall operation of the domain. This includes the email address and webmaster contact information.

This is an example of an SOA record for the domain name “example.com”:

ns1.domainname.com admin.domainname.com 21421331021 78403 6410 580402 300

SRV Record

A service record is used to specify a server’s location (hostname), providing a specific service in the network. 

Here is an SRV record for a mail server:

_sip._tcp SRV 5 0 5060 servername.example.com.

Why are DNS records important?

1) DNS records help you stay on top of security issues

When you change your DNS records, it tells the world what’s going on with your site. If someone tries to hack into your site or add malicious code, they’ll be alerted by the change in DNS records and can fix it before anyone notices anything out of the ordinary.

2) DNS records keep people from being able to reach your site if it gets hacked

If someone manages to get into your site and replace its content with something else (e.g., an advertisement), changing the DNS record will make sure that only those who know about the change will be able to see it—people who don’t know about it will just see a blank page instead!

Conclusion

If you want to start creating DNS records, our PowerToolbox will help you generate valid and error-free records for your domain with a single click. These records are optimized to your domain’s needs, syntactically accurate, and error-free. For expert guidance, contact us today!