DNS terms: Easy guide for everyday use

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!


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.

Learn more about the historty of Domain Name System!

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.

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