List of DNS record types for beginners

As far as we know, there are a lot of DNS record types in the Domain Name System. These are an essential and indispensable part of all DNS resolution. Their main role is to provide information about the domain and its IP address. The records are stored in a DNS file, hosted on the authoritative DNS server. They are used to present information to the DNS resolver about different types of data. 

DNS records – information

The records are in text form, which makes them very lightweight and easy to edit. They are created by a series of characters that are interpreted as commands for the DNS server, or said another way, what to do. All records have a time to live (TTL), containing the domain and IP address of the request, class, and type.
There are various DNS record types. Our article will look at precisely the most common types of records. 

Different DNS record types

  • A Record – A record is the most popular and simple type of record. Its characteristic is that it points the domain in a specific direction of IPv4 address. In other words, it converts the domain name to an IP address. For example, if you type into the address bar, this query is sent to the DNS resolver. It then goes through a whole DNS resolution process and finally finds out the IP of that site. The site is then loaded. 
  • PTR Record – This kind of record is the reverse in the procedure of that explained above by us. It uses the IP address to search and bind the domain name (Reverse DNS). This type of record is often used for Anti-spam, Troubleshooting email delivery problems, or when logging.
  • CNAME Record – This type redirects a domain to another domain (i.e. canonical name), not to IP address. For example, it might map the web address to the actual website CNAME is most commonly used for subdomains.
  • MX Record  – also known as mail exchange, uses a mail authority server to process mail (domain email). Like the previous one, the entry must be directed to another domain. You will not receive emails if you do not have an MX or are incorrectly routed. 
  • TXT Record – through it, the domain administrator can edit and add notes in the DNS system. Through it, texts can be added that can be readable by both humans and machines. The main purpose of using them is for security and verification. TXT is most frequently used for Sender Policy Framework (SPF). For example, a TXT record might contain the following message: “using computer=huawei matebook 13”
  • SOA Record – Zone files are managed by the DNS server. The Start of Authority (SOA) record contains administrative information about the DNS zone. People mostly concern themselves with it when performing a DNS zone transfer. Every domain must have an SOA record, as it is the basis of every zone file.

Why do we need DNS records ?

DNS is an integral part of the Internet. We can easily access websites via their domains rather than IP addresses through the Domain Name System. In addition, DNS records tell servers exactly how to respond to a DNS query. Therefore, they are an essential part of the whole process.

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