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What is a DNS Resource Record? 

DNS means Domain Name System. A DNS resource record is a database that stores entries entered by the DNS server. These records of DNS are then a reference point for a lot of activities including responding to clients’ queries with the DNS server. Data (records of DNS) are entered into the DNS server and also to the hosting DNS server in the DNS namespace.

Resources records are synonymous with IP addresses because if you take a domain name and send a message, the DNS server resolves the domain name into an IP address, and as such the reply would be from an IP address.

There are three types of DNS servers – the DNS root server, the authoritative server, and the DNS revolver. The DNS server resolves domain names into IP addresses either through a local DNS server or an authoritative server query.

DNS Record types 

There are different types of records of DNS. We are going to look at some commonly used types of records of DNS and give a brief explanation of each. 

  • A type DNS records- These records of DNS is the host address, used to point a domain name to an IP address. It is the most common type of record of DNS and is what makes it possible for users to type in a human-readable domain name while the computer converts it to IP addresses in number form.
  • AAAA type DNS records;  The AAAA type of DNS is pronounced “quad-A”. It’s the IPv6 host address. It’s similar to the A records but while A records types are for mapping domain names to 1Pv4 address, AAAA record is for the mapping domain name to IPv6. The AAAA record serves as a future record for users to beat the courage shortage of IPv4 addresses and as such carries more bit lengths to serve a wider user population. 
  • CNAME type DNS records; Cname is Canonical name. It is a DNS record type for domain name aliases and as such, allows the use of different names (aliases) for a single server computer host. This is important because the single server computer host can take up different roles and can act as a web server, chat server, etc., and as such would need to be masked with different domain names.
  • MX type DNS records; These records of DNS are the mail exchanger. It maps a domain name to an email server and is used for locating the mail server for a DNS domain. It’s a resource record of DNS.
  • NS records; The NS records of DNS refers to the name server and is used for identifying which authoritative DNS server is for a particular zone. It also delegates parts of a domain name to different DNS servers. 
  • PTR records;  This is the domain name pointer and serves as a reverse record by pointing IP addresses to domain names instead of domain names to IP addresses like the A and AAAA records of DNS do. 
  • SOA record; The SOA records of DNS are the Start of Authority records and records/ identifies data concerning the name, administration, email address, serial number, etc for a particular zone. 
  • SRV record; Same as the location of service DNS record, and as the name suggests it is used to identify the location of a service. They are custom records of DNS.
  • TXT records;  These records of DNS are the descriptive text records used to hold the descriptive text which contains information about the hosts, phone numbers, contact addresses, and other important facts about a domain name and does the job of delivering this information to various sources on the outside. It can also be used to verify the ownership of a domain name.
  • ALIAS records. Not to be confused with the CNAME records, Alias records of DNS are the auto resolved aliases. A major difference between Alias records and the Cname records is that while CNAME records should only be used to map a name to another name when there are no other records. Alias maps a name to another name regardless of the availability of other records.

What DNS records do I need for the website?

Different DNS records perform various tasks and are used for different reasons. When building a website, it’s important to know which records of DNS you would need to enable you to create an optimally functional website.

Here are some DNA records you would need to create your website from the scratch if you have your domain name and web hosting account: 

  • The A DNS record; This is compulsory. Your website cannot function if you don’t have a record to point your domain name to your IP address. You would also need to set up A records for your subdomains to be pointed to IP addresses if you have any.
  • CNAME record; The CNAME record is another important DNS record for creating a functional website especially if you want to use ” www.” with your domain name. Instead of creating another series of A records and pointing them to IP addresses, CNAME records come in handy as a more convenient record for safely and easily pointing to the domain name.
  • MX record. The MX record is the mail exchanger DNS record and maps a domain name to an email server and as such, is an important record for building a website if you are using email.

Those are the basic records of DNS you need to build a functional website without hitches.  You may need others eventually, they are the minimum records you need. Always be sure to contact your server hosting providers and relevant experts if or when you encounter any difficulty with any process.

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