Category: DNS

Get familiar with DNS zone transfer 

Today the focus of our article is exactly DNS zone transfer. Is it something you’ve heard about? If not, no worries. In a moment, we’ll discover what it is and why understanding it is critical. So let’s not waste time and get started. 

What is a DNS zone?

The DNS zone is a tiny part of the Domain Name System (DNS). However, despite its size, it serves an essential purpose: it allows various DNS administrators to control and manage multiple aspects of the global DNS system. That is the primary reason for the decentralized nature of this global naming database.

The DNS zone contains a collection of DNS records such as A, AAAA, MX, TXT, PTR, etc. It’s worth noting that the SOA record, which is the initial DNS record, also contains basic information about the zone, the DNS administrator, and some parameters (Refresh and Retry rate) that are required for DNS zone transfer.

DNS zone transfer – definition

The process of replicating DNS information (DNS records) from the Primary DNS zone to the Secondary DNS zone is known as zone transfer. This allows you to set up numerous copies of your DNS records on different name servers. As a result of completing the transfer, you will have higher availability if one of the name servers fails. Furthermore, if you own an international website with users from all over the world and different presence places, you will ensure faster DNS resolution (PoPs).

Another critical point to remember is that your website will not be harmed if a particular name server is down for whatever reason (for example, maintenance or a DDoS attack). For your guests, it will remain available and reachable.

If you manage a website with a global presence and wish to increase DNS resolution speed, you might consider completing a zone transfer to many Secondary DNS zones. You’ll be able to put your DNS data (DNS records) in multiple Points of Presence(PoP) in this manner.

Types of DNS zone transfer

Generally, there are two different types of DNS zone transfers between name servers that you can perform :

  • Transfer of the entire zone (AXFR zone transfer). This one is for copying all DNS records from the primary name server to a secondary name server (Secondary). If you haven’t updated the Secondary in a while and want to make sure it’s up to date, you can utilize it. Another reason to do the entire zone transfer is to copy data to a newly deployed name server with no previous information.
  • Partial zone transfer (IXFR zone transfer). We use it to update only the newly modified DNS records from the Primary name server to the Secondary name servers (removed, changed, or generated). You can use it to save bandwidth by simply updating changes. This isn’t the entire zone file. It’s more convenient to utilize after you’ve set up all of the secondary name servers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can say that you are familiar with the fundamental DNS zone transfer. It’s the process that allows DNS data replication to be quick and straightforward. However, without a good knowledge of what it is, you won’t be able to deploy it successfully.

Best Free DNS Resolvers [Top 5]

Today, this article will take a detailed look at free DNS Resolvers. The importance of a Recursive DNS server cannot be overstated. Looking for something on the Internet without it could be frustrating. You can access this content right now owing to the service of a Recursive DNS server! But can we take advantage of it without having to pay? The answer is yes. So let’s get to know one of the best free DNS Resolvers.

DNS Resolver

The DNS Resolver, or also known as Recursive DNS server, is in charge of looking for data required to respond to user queries. In computers, recursion refers to a method for addressing a problem. This indicates that a program or solution will keep repeating itself until it achieves its purpose.

DNS Resolver serves as a link between authoritative DNS servers and end-users. A Recursive DNS server searches for the IP address every time someone writes a domain name. This server returns to the device’s browser that originated the request after determining the correct IP address for the specific domain name. Finally, by connecting to that IP address, the device can access the specified website, which is then loaded.

Free DNS Resolvers

Now you know what the Recursive DNS server is and how it works. So we can take a look at the best free DNS Resolvers:

1. Google 

Google has a Public DNS that is a quick and easy way to replace your ISP’s nameservers. Its Public DNS servers can accomplish fast speeds because they’re located in data centers worldwide. That means when you try to access a website using the IP addresses above, you’ll be sent to the server closest to you.

Master DNS server: 8.8.8.8

Slave DNS server: 8.8.4.4

2. Cloudflare 

Cloudflare created 1.1.1.1 to become the “fastest DNS directory on the internet.” It uses a modern, efficient protocol to replace the connection between your device and the Internet. So this guarantees to never track your IP address, transfer your data or use it to target adverts.

Master DNS server: 1.1.1.1

Slave DNS server: 1.0.0.1

3. Quad9 

Quad9 is a new DNS provider, having launched in 2016. It has free public DNS servers that protect your smartphone, tablet, computer, and other devices from cyber risks by instantly blocking harmful web pages without collecting your personal information.

Master DNS server: 9.9.9.9

Slave DNS server: 149.112.112.112

4. OpenDNS

OpenDNS has a high level of uptime and stability, and millions of people use it. This company provides two free public DNS servers, one of which is specialized in parental controls and includes lots of filtering settings. It is the greatest solution for families with kids because it blocks adult content.

Master DNS server: 208.67.222.222

Slave DNS server: 208.67.220.220

5. CleanBrowsing

CleanBrowsing is the last best Free DNS Resolver on our list. A security filter, an adult filter, and a family filter are three free public DNS server options. These are the DNS servers for the security filter, which is the simplest and refreshes every hour to prevent malware and phishing websites.

Master DNS server: 185.228.168.9

Slave DNS server: 185.228.169.9

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the best free DNS Resolvers for your devices to get fast and secure online access. Although most of us never change our DNS servers from our ISP, it is a good idea to do so if you value your privacy.

5 Great Free DNS hosting providers to choose from

This is a list of some of the best free DNS Hosting Providers. They’re all suitable for people who are new to DNS.

Free DNS hosting is a fantastic starting point for learning more about DNS. Even though free DNS hosting is somewhat limited, you will definitely observe improvements. As a result, you’ll better understand what further services you could require. In addition, you’ll have less downtime, and your system will be more redundant.

ClouDNS

The first Free DNS Hosting provider from our list is ClouDNS. It offers both free and premium subscription plans. Compared to competitors, its Free plan includes 4 Unicast DNS servers, 50 DNS records, one email forward, web redirection, and 500 thousand DNS queries per month. It supports the basics and a variety of DNS record types. Furthermore, you receive Dynamic DNS, which is a very practical and time-saving option—transparent DNS traffic data and live-chat support from professionals. There’s no need to switch to another provider if the free plan isn’t adequate for you. By simply upgrading to a paid plan, you may avoid the dangers and complexity of migration.

Namecheap

Another DNS provider with paid and free DNS options is Namecheap. It includes a few great extras in its free DNS service, such as the ability to use a secondary DNS. It can be used as a backup and to increase redundancy. It supports A, AAAA, MX, NS, ALIAS, CNAME, Web redirection, and other DNS record types. Dynamic DNS is also available here. It offers technical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In terms of free tier DNS, Namecheap and ClouDNS are pretty similar, so if you’re considering one of them, it might be a good idea to look at their premium plans as well.

entryDNS

This is another fantastic and dependable DNS hosting provider with various features to choose from. They have a good API and a user-friendly control panel. It also provides Dynamic DNS and a variety of DNS record types, including SOA, NS, A, CNAME, MX, TXT, and others. It has a hybrid Anycast infrastructure that is appealing. The sole requirement for new users is that they pay a $15 one-time registration charge.

GeoScaling

GeoScaling has one incredible ace up its sleeve in the form of GeoDNS, a completely free service. It can analyze incoming traffic and guide visitors according to their location. So, this is quite helpful and uncommon in a free-tier DNS. Aside from that, it offers a reasonable monthly limit of 1 million DNS queries and decent support for DNS record types. Dynamic DNS functionality is also a good inclusion. The organization’s team isn’t as large as the previous companies, but it’s still a compelling proposition.

BuddyNS

The last one from our list is BuddyNS. This DNS provider supplies a free secondary DNS service. In addition, it comes with DNSCurve, which allows you to encrypt DNS requests for free. Another unusual but good feature is free DNS security. A free DNS monitor, substantial uptime, and the ability to use AAAA records are also included. Unfortunately, the monthly limit of 300K DNS queries is a bit low, and there is no customer assistance, although it does offer paid options.

Conclusion

We can infer that you already know which are some of the best Free DNS Hosting Providers. To exist and enjoy the Internet adventure, there are trustworthy companies you can rely on. Analyze the structure you wish to create to comprehend its requirements completely. Maybe you might give it a try and reap the rewards!

Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS – Which one to choose?

Let’s make the comparison Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS. Both of them are mechanisms for routing the incoming traffic of a domain name. Yet, they are very different from one another. So, let’s explain a little bit more about Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS!

Anycast DNS – What is it?

Anycast DNS is a routing mechanism that implements multiple name servers. Each one of them is placed in a different geographical position. Yet, the entire group of name servers stores the very same IP address, and each of them is able to provide it. That means the DNS information (containing all available DNS records) for your domain name is stored not on one but multiple name servers.

When a user requests your domain, the DNS server, which is closer, is going to answer and provide the needed data. In case a particular server from the group is not operating, the DNS query is going to receive an answer from one of the other available DNS servers. That affects in a positive way aspects like waiting for a response, loading time, and of course, the user experience.

Unicast DNS explained

Unicast DNS is a routing mechanism that uses a single name server. That means the IP address and the entire DNS data of your domain name are held only on a single DNS server. In this situation, the location of the user does not matter. All of the incoming DNS requests are going to receive an answer from this precise name server. So, if the user is initiating the DNS query from a location that is closer to the name server, it is going to get a fast reply. While in situations when the user is in a completely different location away from that server, it is going to require more time for getting a response.

Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS

When we are comparing Anycast DNS vs. Unicast DNS, we can use several factors and criteria to help you decide which one is the better option for your needs. 

  • Easy to use – Unicast DNS means one machine and one IP address. Therefore, installing Unicast DNS could be a little bit simpler. However, it is not that difficult to implement Anycast DNS too. For Unicast DNS, you have to maintain just a single server. Configuring a group of servers requires a little bit more effort.
  • Security – In cases when an individual DNS server stores all of your domain name data and gets attacked or crashes, it can lead to some big losses. The accessibility to your domain is going to be extremely affected, which leads to financial and reputation damages. Anycast DNS provides you with a group of servers, and even if one of them goes down, you can rely on others to take care of the incoming DNS requests.
  • Response time – Anycast DNS provides really fast replies and decreases the waiting time. That means your potential clients won’t leave your website. 
  • Target market – In case you are interested in offering your services or products in a local market, then Unicast DNS is your perfect choice. However, if your target market is a multinational, it is going to be best if you consider Anycast DNS.

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.