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How to Manage DNS Records

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Introduction to DNS Records

DNS, or Domain Name System, is an important part of the internet. It is used to translate domain names into IP addresses so that computers can access websites.

DNS records are the instructions that DNS servers use to map domain names to IP addresses. Knowing how to manage DNS records is essential to keeping your website running properly and ensuring you can easily access websites.

This article will discuss the basics of DNS records and how to manage them.

What are DNS records?

A Domain Name System (DNS) record is a database that stores information about domains and subdomains. It is a system of records managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Each DNS record type has a specific purpose and will provide various information such as the domain’s name, IP address, server hosting the domain, destinations of email messages sent to it, etc.

A primary DNS record is the most basic type. It stores information about the hostname and IP address associated with it. Other record types serve different purposes such as assigning prioritizations and weights to specific hosts to determine which one should be used first when connecting or sending email; or handling traffic routing by letting you specify multiple mail servers for message delivery; or creating subdomains so other websites can be hosted from them without having to buy additional domain names.

Each type of DNS record provides important functionality for the domain name system and can impact website performance, security, availability, etc. Therefore, each must be managed correctly to ensure optimal functioning for your website or application. To do this effectively, let’s take a look at some of the most common DNS record types you may encounter:

  • A (Address) records: used to establish an IP address with a corresponding hostname
  • CNAME (Canonical Name) records: used to link another hostname as an alias to another fully qualified domain name
  • MX (Mail Exchange) records: used to direct outbound email messages away from your server
  • TXT (Text) records: used provide detailed text data associated with certain queries
  • SRV (Service Record): used create services within your network that require special configuration settings

Types of DNS records

DNS stands for Domain Name System, allowing users to connect to websites and applications via domain names, instead of using long IP addresses. DNS records are instructions on a DNS server hosting a particular domain name. These instructions tell the DNS server how to handle incoming connection requests or queries.

The most common types of DNS records are:

  • A (Host) record, which points a domain or subdomain to an IP address;
  • CNAME (Alias) record which sends website visitors or other services to another URL;
  • MX (Mail Exchanger) records which specify the mail server responsible for accepting emails sent through the system;
  • TXT (Text) records which allow website owners to add customization notes, usually for verification purposes;
  • PTR(Pointer) records which send connection requests from designated IP addresses back out on the web;
  • NS records which are used to identify and configure authoritative name servers for the domain;
  • SRV (Service) Records used by certain services as part of their configuration processes.

These core types have created variations that include Wildcard records and CAA Records.

Manage DNS records

Managing DNS records is an important part of running a website as it identifies and resolves a domain name to an IP address to route traffic to your website. However, knowing how to manage DNS records can be a complex task for those unfamiliar with the process and not tech-savvy.

This section will explain the basics of DNS records and how to manage them.

Accessing your DNS records

Accessing your DNS records is essential for managing your DNS environment and ensuring proper access to the content you wish to host. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it may seem. To gain access to your DNS records, you will need three important pieces of information—the location of the nameservers, the server IP address and the administrator password.

Once you have located these three items, you can access and manage your DNS records. First, use a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox to navigate to the domain name associated with your nameservers. Then use the IP address provided by your registrar to connect directly to the nameserver’s control panel. From there, a login interface should be presented allowing you to enter in both the administrator username and password corresponding with that particular record zone. Upon successful authentication, you will be presented with a list of all available records within that particular DNS area—these are typically broken down into A (IPv4 addressing), CNAME (domain redirection) and MX (Mail Exchange).

By clicking an individual record ,you can view or edit its settings such as its IP address ,expiry date or priority values depending on the type of record. While changes may be necessary if something needs updating in one of these fields such as a change in IP addresses,,generally speaking only editing ofMX ( Mail exchange ) entries is required for most common email- based applications since they are responsible for routing mail traffic correctly between server nodes via domain lookups . After making any changes do not forget to click ‘save’ before exiting out from this panel .

Adding, editing, and deleting DNS records

When managing your domain’s DNS Records, you must understand the process properly so that your domain functions effectively. Below are the basic steps to follow when adding, editing, or deleting DNS Records:

Adding Records: Adding a record to your Domain Name System is done by adding an A (IPv4) or AAAA (IPv6) Record. Then, enter the IP address where the record should be pointed and its associated name.

Editing Records: To make changes to an existing record, you will need to modify it by editing its IP address or name. If necessary, you can also set a time-to-live (TTL) value for any records edited in this way. It should be noted that any changes made to an existing record may take 12-24 hours for these modifications to fully effect.

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Deleting Records: If a record is no longer needed, it can be deleted without hassle. Simply find the record in your DNS configuration and delete it directly in the interface or via command line tools such as BIND’s dig utility. Once deleted, all associated settings related to this particular Record will be removed from your Domain Name System altogether. Some modifications may take up to 24 hours before they are fully effective.

Setting up DNS records for email

To ensure emails get sent and received correctly, you need to set up the right DNS records. This involves setting up an MX record, which specifies the mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of the domain, and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records, which ensure that outbound email is delivered from authorised sources.

Setting up an MX record requires you to determine your domain’s mail exchangers (MX), or in other words, the server that will handle all incoming email for your domain. Each of these will require its MX record, a combination of a name and IP address. The name part does not have to represent an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)—it can be anything that makes identifying the mail server easier (for example: “mail” or “mail1”). For example: the MX record might say “mail” if a server served mail with this IP address. The highest-priority MX should appear first in any list of records associated with a domain.

In addition to setting up an MX record, you should also set up your SPF records so you can manage who sends emails on behalf of your domain. An SPF record details which servers are allowed to send emails using it — only those listed in its SPF record will be considered legitimate recipients and accepted by other mail systems reading it; any others will be discarded or moved into quarantine folders as necessary for security reasons.

Adding an SPF TXT (text) Record is quite easy — all you need is access to your DNS Manager and know what exactly needs modifying! Adding multiple good old-fashioned A Records via a hosting service would mean adding something like ‘v=spf1 ip4: ~all’ insteadwhere ‘’ would replace itself with actual IP address/es used for sending out freemails!. Once entered, policies become active!

Troubleshooting DNS Issues

Managing DNS records can help you troubleshoot issues with your domain name server and help ensure that visitors can connect to your site correctly.

In this section, we’ll look at the steps you can take to manage your DNS records and ensure that you have everything set up correctly.

Checking DNS propagation

Before you can start troubleshooting DNS problems, you must ensure that your new changes have propagated to the global DNS system. You can use a few different tools to test and check the DNS propagation.

One of the most reliable methods is an online DNS checking tool. These services can help you quickly determine whether or not your changes have been propagated on the Domain Name System (DNS).

You can also use command-line tools such as “dig” and “host” that are available on many common operating systems (OSes). Both of these will allow you to query and compare results against those from a reliable online service.

Finally, a technique called “pinging” checks to see if there are any discrepancies between how domain names are resolved across multiple name servers. To do this, you will need access to at least two name servers and compare their responses when a domain name query is passed.

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This process should help confirm whether or not your new records make it into the global DNS system correctly and if not, help identify potential areas for further investigation.

Testing DNS records

Before making any changes to your DNS records, it is important to test them to ensure that the changes you make are correct. This can be done with a series of NSlookup and ping commands.

NSlookup is the most commonly used tool for testing DNS records. It is a command-line utility used for querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to find information such as IP addresses associated with a domain name, mail server IP address of specific domain name etc. A simple case of NSlookup would query a server for information about a particular host:


This command will then return all relevant information related to the domain host. For example: nslookup www.example.com will return the IP address of www.example.com and other details related to the server address, including the authoritative nameservers where applicable.

In addition, ping can be used when troubleshooting DNS issues:

ping -a

This will resolve an IP address into its associated hostname and then attempt to ping it using ICMP protocol packets (the packets commonly used in network pinging). The output displays either successful or unsuccessful pings, allowing you to determine if there are connection issues between two hosts which can indicate problems with DNS resolution or incorrect entries in their respective lookup tables (DNS records).

Common DNS errors

Common errors related to DNS can include incorrect IP addresses specified in DNS records, conflicting A Records or CNAMEs, and domain names pointing to the wrong servers. In addition, various server configurations could lead to DNS errors. Below is a list of some of the most common DNS errors and their troubleshooting steps:

1. Lost records (missing A, CNAME, MX) – If you cannot locate any records for your domain in the DNS management tool, try submitting a command line dig query. If the record is missing completely you will have to re-create it manually in the DNS management tool.

2. Incorrect rDNS (Reverse Domain Name System) – Ensure that your reverse domain name system is configured correctly to avoid any mis-direction scenarios. To ensure this, submit a command line query with type ‘ptr’ followed by your IP address and FQDN (fully qualified domain name). This explains how those configurations are set up on your DNS provider end.

3. Inconsistent records – Care should be taken when recording an A or CNAME record ensuring that both Fully Qualified Domain Names point to the same place on both sides (left and right) of the configuration equation; otherwise, this creates an inconsistency on which our servers rely for routing requests for domains and subdomains as needed – creating issues ranging from slow speeds when loading websites to complete inability to reach that website at all if either goes awry with conflicting information from one side versus another in terms of destination IP address protocol adherence points and FQDN destination expectations set by both sides of a configuration equation at play between what each expects based on current settings related A and CNAME recordings respectively versus what’s actually put forth into action at play operationally by Internet Network layers configured across multiple global locations but dependent upon accuracy factors themselves in order for full success assurance postings at large provided neither side’s expectations are not misconfigured per agreed upon architecture protocols necessarily set forth occasionally over time potentially resulting in rare issues such as intermittent web site outages due potentially mistakenly resulting from legacy settings not conforming optimally due thus requiring periodic assessment etc.

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4. Invalid/expired digital certificates – Invalid/Expired SSL certificates can result in security vulnerabilities ranging from denial-of-service attacks against encrypted services like email systems among other computer resources operationally created thus being required possibilities additionally taken into account occasionally based upon certain given parameters relevantly put into effect especially regularly when organisational identity currency operations demand such defence overall ideally created operational development trends often times encountered functionally regularly throughout multiple industry sectors across globally dispersed locations situated accordingly as needed per reasonable given context accordingly related requirements nuances occasionally encountered sporadically whether web properties operated publicly hosted especially if connecting over large protected networks etc., as necessary dependable cyberdefense layers often typically deployed accordingly as needed specifically etc., where defensive walls ideally erected securely protecting corporate & personal accounts so provisioned by IT personnel actively addressing all various associated needs affecting diversely distributed online assets whatsoever potentially configured literally wherever situated thereby globally mandated currently /end .

Best Practices for Managing DNS Records

Managing DNS records is a critical element of any website owner’s operations. It’s essential to have exact records of what is in the Domain Name System, which is the directory to the World Wide Web, and keep them up-to-date. This is particularly true for those who host their websites or manage multiple domains.

With this in mind, here are some best practices for managing DNS records.

Use a reputable DNS provider

Using a reputable Domain Name System (DNS) provider is essential for properly managing DNS records. A good DNS provider should have reliable technical support and easy-to-find information on managing your domain’s DNS entries. In addition, the most important DNS providers offer online tools for making changes to domain name settings, such as the ability to edit and add new records, which can affect website performance and visitor experience.

It is also essential to have access to reliable technical support if you encounter any problems with your DNS configuration or records. Many reputable providers offer 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, or email, so help is easily accessible when needed. Furthermore, security features like two-factor authentication can help ensure only authorised personnel are making changes to your domain name settings. This can help protect your domain from malicious threats like phishing attacks and other cybercrime attempts.

Additionally, depending on the size of your organisation and its networking needs, having a robust control panel might be beneficial for controlling what changes are made to the existing settings. Commonly found features in top DNS panels include “split-view” options that allow users with sufficient permissions access to both the administrative side of their accounts as well as their public view hosting pages. Alternatively, basic user management tools are useful for smaller organisations that don’t need these added layers of protection — still allowing them a secure place from which they can easily add or edit their DNS records in a single central interface.

Use secure DNS settings

Domain Name System (DNS) records are essential for any website or online service because they connect user requests with the right IP address, routing users to the right content. Furthermore, regarding security, DNS records can contain sensitive information related to authentication and authorization such as digital certificates and domain keys.

To ensure secure and up-to-date DNS configurations, IT administrators should create a policy that outlines best practices for managing their DNS records. This policy must include guidelines regarding:

  • The types of DNS records that are allowed and their purposes
  • Adequate encryption methods for secure communication between servers
  • Auditing and monitoring of DNS records for unauthorised changes or activities
  • Periodic review of DNS settings and configurations to ensure accuracy
  • Ransoming or deleting malicious malware from the database

Without proper management, malicious actors may be able to access or alter organisational DNS settings, redirect traffic from an organisation’s site to a malicious site, disrupt access to web services via DDoS attacks, or perform vector-based attacks against vulnerable infrastructure. To protect against these threats, regularly audit internal resources and deploy robust authentication measures such as DMARC verification.

Monitor DNS changes

Monitoring DNS changes is a crucial part of effective DNS management. For a business with its domain name, it is important to keep track of all updates to keep the organisation’s online presence secure and up-to-date. When changes happen, they need to be addressed as soon as possible.

By monitoring DNS records, administrators can quickly detect threats like malware or phishing attempts and respond accordingly by changing the settings or deleting malicious records. In addition, keeping track of changes helps to ensure that existing records are not accidentally modified, overwritten, or deleted. This ensures the security and reliability of a business’s network infrastructure.

To monitor DNS changes efficiently,IP address management software should be used to detect any new records added or removed from the system. It should also alert administrators when any record change is detected for immediate action. Additionally, periodic backups should be performed regularly as another safeguard against setting errors and termination of service due to unintentional record manipulation or deletion.

Regularly back up your DNS records

Backup of domain names and DNS records should become integral to your organisation’s disaster recovery process. Regularly backing up your DNS records ensures that you have a copy that can easily be used for reference or recovered during a disaster. This adds an extra layer of business continuity protection for your organisation.

The best practice for regularly backing up your DNS records is to create an automated system. Several solutions are available on the market today designed to automatically backup, transfer, and store all relevant information for domain names and associated DNS records. By implementing this system, you are essentially creating the easiest and safest method to ensure that these records are continually updated, backed up, and ready to use in case they ever need to be recovered.

Whether you have multiple domain names and DNS configurations or just one or two simple websites, having a reliable backup system is essential. Not only does it help protect your business against potentially catastrophic data loss due to natural disasters or malicious attacks and saves time if an issue arises with your domain name or hosting provider. In addition, regularly backing up these systems can also reduce the risk of unexpected compatibility issues when transferring service providers since you will have easy access to all current settings and configurations.

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