What is DNS and how does it work?

Category: DNS

The term DNS stands for Domain Name System.

It is used over the internet as a directory system, a map, to translate an IP address such as 192.0.2.1 into an easily recogniseable domain name. This means instead of remembering numbers, users simply remember the domainname.com thus making the internet much easier to use.

Because DNS is critical to the uptime of a website, to find it on the internet, it’s important that changes to a domains setup are only done outside of peak times unless absolutely necessary. This means more uptime for you.

The nameservers on a domain name tell your computer where to look for the DNS information; the DNS information in turn tells your computer where to load the website from. Within the DNS information, or more accurately a DNS zones there are a range of different record types which serve different purposes.

What are the primary types of DNS records?

  • A Record – used to point your domain name or subdomain to an IP address.
  • CNAME Record – used to point your domain name or subdomain to another domain name. Note: this does not function as a redirect.
  • MX Record – this controls where emails are received.
  • NS Record – typically these match the nameservers assigned to your domain name.
  • TXT Record – these are often used for verification purposes, most prominently SPF.
  • SRV Record – allows you to setup specific services on your domain; including defining ports and connection protocol.

I still don’t fully understand DNS

If you’re still not 100% confident with DNS, please watch this short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72snZctFFtA

 

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