Month: February 2022

DNS propagation: Complete breakdown of the process

DNS propagation – meaning

DNS propagation is a time-consuming procedure that involves updating and disseminating new and changed information throughout a network of servers. When you make a modification to your DNS, such as creating a new DNS record or editing an old one, the authoritative DNS name server saves it.

However, the network has a large number of DNS servers, including recursive ones, that are distributed across the globe in various geographical locations. As a result, each server on the network must get the updates in order to function appropriately in the DNS resolution process.

To summarize, DNS propagation is the time it takes to distribute the changes to all of the different recursive servers.

How does it work?

A DNS update is essential in many cases. For example, when you switch hosting providers, renew a website, redirect from the parent domain to subdomains, or add new services (FTP, email, etc.). All of these tasks necessitate the creation or modification of DNS records.

These changes take place directly on the authoritative DNS server. When you save the modifications, the procedure of updating starts. A copy of the new DNS records will be sent to each DNS server on the network.

Users in some countries will be able to access the latest version of your website sooner, while others will continue to receive the older version. This is due to the fact that DNS propagation does not occur at the same time for all servers.

DNS propagation checker

Yes, you can check the DNS propagation. Test to see if a domain name’s IP address has changed. This indicates that the A or AAAA records have already been changed.

Furthermore, this procedure can be time-consuming. It could take up to 72 hours depending on when the recursive DNS servers updated themselves and the TTL values of the DNS records.

Depending on your operating system (OS), we’ll show you different options:

  • On Windows

You can first search for the Command Prompt. Inside it, you can use the Nslookup command within it to look up your website. Enter the command:

nslookup yourdomain.net

  • On macOS and Linux

You can profit from running the dig command on macOS/Linux OS. To begin, launch the Terminal application on your computer. Following that, you can write the following:

dig yourdomain.net

In addition, change the domain name in the yourdomain.net example to what you want to check. 

Conclusion

DNS propagation is a crucial operation that you will come across on a frequent basis when maintaining DNS. You can sway it in your favor by changing TTL settings. However, to master this, you must have a thorough understanding of the process.

Popular DNS record types – Definitions & Purposes

It is very important to know and understand these DNS record types. They are very common, and they find a place in almost every DNS configuration. Let’s see which are these popular DNS record types and what their purpose is.

A record

The “A” in A record stands for “address.” It is probably one of the most well-known DNS record types. Its primary purpose is to link one specific domain name with its corresponding IP address. It is crucial to mention that this record functions only with IPv4 addresses, which look like 123.45.56.78. When you type a particular domain name in your address bar, your browser is going to need exactly this A record.

AAAA record

The AAAA record is similar to the A record. Once again, it serves to point the domain name to its IP address. Yet, the huge difference is that it operates with IPv6 addresses, such as 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0170:7334. 

SOA record

The Start of Authority record, or for short SOA record, is fundamental for every DNS zone. It serves to show the main source of the authority DNS zone. The SOA record is a must-have. Without it, your DNS network won’t be able to function properly at all. It indicates which is the Primary (Master) DNS server. Inside it is placed contact data about the DNS administrator. The SOA record holds essential parameters related to the DNS zone, for instance, the serial number of the domain and refresh rate. We should also mention that each DNS zone should include just one SOA record.

NS record

The “NS” in the NS record stands for the nameserver, and that is another important DNS record type. It functions for identifying and pointing the specific nameserver for the particular DNS zone. In addition, the NS record should be present. If it is not, your DNS zone won’t be able to operate at all. Just like the A record, you should establish the host in the NS record, yet it has to point to the nameserver.

MX record

The MX (Mail Exchanger) record allows you to indicate the email server accountable for receiving email messages for your domain. Inside it is the domain name simply pointing to the hostname of the incoming mail server. You should not make a mistake and point it to an IP address. Instead, the right way is to point it to a hostname. You have the opportunity to add more than one MX record. That way, if there are any problems, you have a backup. The MX record is crucial for every online business and for you to properly receive email messages.

PTR record

The purpose of a PTR record is to link a particular IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) with the domain name. A common reason to use it is for validation that the IP address actually belongs to a specific domain name. Why is that necessary? For instance, for better email deliverability and verification of different services, and many more.

CNAME record

The CNAME record is used to indicate the actual canonical name of a certain domain. In most cases, it is used for subdomains. When you set it, all of your subdomains are going to point to the domain name. We should mention that the CNAME record is not able to exist in one DNS zone with other DNS records. So, be careful when you administrate your DNS zone.

DNS terms: Easy guide for everyday use

There are some essential DNS terms that are going to help you for sure in your day-to-day tasks and management of your network. Let’s see which are they and explain a little bit more about each of them!

DNS

The short acronym DNS stands for Domain Name System. Its purpose is to make the connection between different domain names and their associated IP addresses. Thanks to this decentralized naming system, the Internet works the way it does nowadays. Imagine for a second that the Domain Name System (DNS) does not exist. It is going to be a complete disaster for humans to memorize all of the IP addresses they need to access a particular website. They are long, complicated and all of the available websites on the Internet are numerous. Thankfully, DNS does exist, and we are required to remember only a simple domain name. That way, in a few seconds, we can access our favorite website.

Dynamic DNS

You could find Dynamic DNS, also called Dyn DNS or DDNS, in the different sources of information. Don’t get confused. They are the same thing. It is an incredible service. Why? Because Internet service providers (ISPs) are constantly changing the IP addresses of their clients. That is an easier way for them to manage their large networks. Dynamic DNS serves to help you and automatically updates your IP address when it changes. It saves you time, and there is no chance your service or website to get left behind with the old IP address.

Domain name

The domain name is a text identifier that helps us find desired websites easier. It is a unique string of text. Thanks to it, we quickly find different devices, computers, networks, and services on the Internet. There is no chance for two websites to share the very same domain name.

IP address

The IP address is the numerical identifier. We need them because that is the only way for the different devices and servers to connect and communicate with each other. There are two separate versions of IP addresses. The older ones are IPv4 addresses, and the newer ones are IPv6 addresses. 

DNS record

Every DNS record is an instruction that is related to a particular domain name. They are collected in a zone file in a specific DNS zone and stored in a DNS server. There are various types of DNS records, and each of them is used for a particular purpose.

Popular DNS record types are: 

  • A record – Points a domain name to an IPv4 address
  • AAAA record – Points a domain name to an IPv6 address
  • MX record – Points to the name server accountable for receiving emails.
  • CNAME record – Points one domain (subdomain) to another.
  • PTR record – Points an IP address to a domain name.

DNS zone

Another essential DNS term is DNS zone. It is a small administrative segment of the entire naming system. It allows DNS administrators to manage their domain names freely.

DNS server

There are two types of DNS servers. The first type is authoritative DNS servers, which store all of the DNS data (DNS records) and supply information to the next type of DNS servers. The second type is Recursive DNS servers (DNS resolvers). Their main purpose is to receive the DNS query and search for an answer. That is a complete process called DNS resolution, and their role is fundamental.