DNS Record Basics

Angelos Chalaris · Webdev, Dns, Server, Cheatsheet · Jan 9, 2022

Most web developers go about their day-to-day without having to deal with DNS records most of the time. Regardless, knowing what DNS stands for and the types of DNS records are pretty useful.

DNS Definition

The Domain Name System (abbreviated to DNS), translates human-readable domain names (e.g www.google.com to machine-readable IP addresses (e.g. 142.250.186.46).

DNS Records

A DNS is made up of multiple records of different types, each one with its own purpose. Here's a breakdown of the most commonly-used ones:

  • A record: The address record. Used to map a domain name to an IPv4 address. Similarly, the AAAA record is used to map a domain name to an IPv6 address.
  • CNAME records: A canonical name record. Creates an alias that points to another domain or subdomain, but never an IP address.
  • ANAME record: Allows you to point the root of your domain to a hostname or a domain name.
  • TXT records: Allow the addition of limited text notes and is often used for ownership verification purposes, validation or security.
  • MX record: Specifies the mail server responsible for accepting the incoming and outgoing emails for a domain. Should point to a mail server name, not an IP address.

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