Domain name system, or DNS, is the technology that enables us to access websites using domain names rather than memorising IP addresses. When the internet first began, computers on the network were identified and located using IP addresses, which are a string of four numbers between 0 and 255 separated by a dot. But as the internet expanded and more people began using it, it became obvious that users would find it much simpler to remember domain names rather than IP addresses.
The Domain Name System, or DNS, is a system that transforms domain names into IP addresses to facilitate user navigation of the internet. DNS works by maintaining a database of domain names and their corresponding IP addresses, called DNS records. These records are stored on DNS servers and are used to translate domain names into IP addresses when a user types a URL into their browser.
There are several types of DNS records that are used to manage and control the behaviour of a domain. Some of the most common types of DNS records include:
The A record is used to map a domain name to an IP address. It is the most basic type of DNS record and is used to connect a domain name to the IP address of a web server.
The CNAME record is used to map one domain name to another. It is commonly used to redirect one domain name to another, such as redirecting a “www” subdomain to the main domain.
The MX record is used to specify the mail server for a domain. It tells email servers where to deliver email for a particular domain.
The NS record is used to specify the name servers for a domain. It tells other DNS servers which name servers are responsible for a particular domain.
The TXT record is used to add text-based information to a domain. It is commonly used to store information such as SPF or DKIM records, which are used to help prevent email spoofing.
These are only a few examples of the many different kinds of DNS records that are employed to manage and regulate a domain’s operations. Each kind of DNS record has a particular use and contributes significantly to how the DNS system works. Understanding and properly configuring DNS records is essential for managing and maintaining a website or domain.