An introduction to DNS records & How to check them?

DNS records – Definition

DNS records are simple instructions that are associated with a particular domain name. In the DNS zone, the full collection of entries is compiled in a zone file. All of this information is stored on the authoritative DNS server for the relevant domain name. Each record serves a certain purpose. As a result, they are all extremely important for the domain’s proper operation.

DNS records types

Here are some of the most popular DNS record types:

  1. SOA record. It contains essential information about the domain name, such as the administrator’s contact information and the date of the domain’s most recent change. It also saves information about how long a secondary name server must wait before checking for updates or trying a new zone transfer after a failed one. In order to comply with IETF standards, every DNS zone must have an SOA record.
  2. A record. This is the most popular record type, which stands for Address. It aims to point a domain name to the matching IP address because it is an address record. Humans no longer have to remember long and complex numbers as a result of this (IP addresses). However, when dealing with IPv4 addresses, the A record can be used.
  3. NS record. The authoritative name servers for a DNS zone are listed in the Name server records (NS records). They’ll connect your domain name to the name servers’ hostname.
  4. MX record. The MX record, also known as the Mail Exchanger record, identifies the email server in charge of accepting emails for the specific domain. In addition, it redirects the domain name to the incoming mail server’s hostname. It’s crucial to remember that this is a hostname, not an IP address.
  5. TXT record. A TXT record is a DNS record that allows you to associate text with a host, such as human-readable information about a server, network, or data center. It is most commonly used for email security.

How to check them?

There are a variety of reasons why you would want to double-check your domain DNS records. For illustration, your website may be unavailable (due to erroneous DNS records), or you may need to determine which DNS records are visible on the internet.

One of the most reliable ways to verify the domain’s DNS records is to use the nslookup command. It is compatible with almost all operating systems (Windows, Linux, and macOS). Nslookup displays all DNS records for the domain, and the commands for the various DNS record types to check using the command line are provided below.

  • SOA record

nslookup -type=SOA example.com

  • A record

nslookup -type=A example.com

  • NS record

nslookup -type=NS example.com

  • MX record

nslookup -type=MX example.com

  • TXT record

nslookup -type=TXT example.com

As you can also make this conclusion yourself, the command is the same, the only variable is the type of DNS record you want to check.

Conclusion

To sum it up, the DNS records are text instructions stored in the DNS zone. They are essential for your website to run smoothly and without problems. How to check them? It is straightforward and easy to do with the nslookup command. So, don’t waste any more time, and check if they are correctly set up.

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