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In the Domain Name System, an A record is one of the most important records that make up your domain name. A DNS A record contains the IP address of the host computer (or hostname) that you want to be associated with your domain name. If you have a website hosted on a server somewhere off-site from where your domain name is registered, then this is probably where the A record will be pointing towards.

Let’s dive into the details and see what is a DNS A record, why you need it, and how you manage a DNS A record. 

What Is a DNS A Record?

Your hostname is connected to an IP address by the A Record. A record’s initials stand for address or A. One of the most often used records in the DNS Zones, this one is crucial to the setup of your DNS. The IP address (IPv4) for the provided host is specified in record A. 

In other words, it uses the IP address to resolve (or refer) a domain name to the appropriate place. You can accomplish a lot with A records, including employing numerous A records for the same domain as fallbacks and redundancies. Each name would have its own A record pointing to the same IP address if multiple names were pointed to the same address.

A Records are the most basic DNS records and are frequently used in DNS servers. A records can be used for various purposes, including creating numerous A records for the same domain to offer redundancy and fallbacks. The same IP address may also be referenced by numerous names, in which case each would have its own A record referring to the same IP address.

Why Do You Need an A Record?

The A record is the most basic type of DNS record, and it’s used to point your domain name to a specific IP address. An A record sets up your website’s home base so that when users type in your domain name, they are sent directly to your website.

An A record is a one-to-one mapping between a hostname and an IP address. For example, if you have a website hosted on www.example.com, you could create an A record with the hostname set to www and the IP address assigned to 1.2.3.4 (where 1.2.3.4 is your web server’s public IP address). 

When someone visits www.example.com in their browser, their computer will query your DNS server for that hostname using UDP port 53 (DNS) and receive an answer containing the IP address of 1.2.3.4. The browser connects directly to 1.2.3.4 on TCP port 80 (HTTP) or 443 (HTTPS) to request your site content.

You can have multiple A records for a single domain name. For example, if you wanted to set up multiple web servers on different IP addresses (to add redundancy), you could create an A record for each server’s IP address. You could also set up multiple mail servers with multiple A records.

How Do You Make It?

Enter the DNS zone management page after logging into your ClouDNS account and selecting the Add new record option. Select “A” for Type, then type the following:

Type: A

TTL: 1 Hour

Points to IP.of.your.website

DNS A Record Format

An A record’s structure adheres to the normative top-level format definition in RFC 1035. There is only one component in the RDATA section:

Element                                                       Description
Address                            A 32-bit Internet address representing an IPv4 address.     

Numerous A records are present on hosts with multiple Internet addresses. The official illustration is

A <address>

How To Query A Record in DNS?

DNS lookup is the process of getting the IP address of a domain name by querying the DNS server.

Named-based resolution is one of the methods for performing DNS lookups. It involves using the domain name instead of an IP address in a query.

A typical query consists of two parts:

  • The hostname, or FQDN (fully qualified domain name), is used to identify a specific resource. A hostname can be either an official Internet name or an alias that points to a particular device on your network.
  • The query type determines how much information you want to be returned in response to your query. This can include:

An A record (address record) returns the IP address associated with a given hostname; if no A record is available, it will return an NXDOMAIN error.

A vs CNAME Record

A records are the default option when you enter a domain name into your hosting account. They are associated with individual IP addresses, which you can find on your DNS (domain name system) records page. These IP addresses can be used for email, web, and FTP services.

CNAME records create an alias or “nickname” for a domain name. For example, if you have a website hosted at www.example.com, you could use this to create an alias for it by using the name example.com instead of the full address. You could also use CNAMEs to point multiple domains to one IP address or point subdomains at different IP addresses than their parent domains.

The difference between A and CNAME records is that A records are used to map a domain name to an IP address, and CNAME records are used to map multiple domain names to one IP address.

A stand for “address,” and CNAME stands for “canonical name.” So, if you want to host a website at example.com, you’ll need an A record that maps the domain name to your server’s IP address.

Conclusion

So now you might have a deep knowledge of a DNS A record. To summarize, an A record is what maps a domain name (www.example.com) to an IP address. And when a domain does not have an A record, the domain name will not work and cannot be used to access any other website or server.

To ensure that your website works correctly across the entire internet, you want to make sure that you are using an A Record. This will ensure that the URL of your site is pointing to the IP address that you want it to point to and not some other server somewhere on the internet.