What are DNS records?

DNS (Domain Name System) records are a set of instructions stored on DNS servers that help translate human-readable domain names (like example.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (such as and vice versa. DNS records play a crucial role in the functioning of the Internet by facilitating the resolution of domain names to IP addresses, allowing users to access websites, send emails, and perform other network activities.

Each DNS record contains specific information about a domain name or subdomain and its associated resources. There are various types of DNS records, each serving a different purpose. Some common types of DNS records include:

  1. A (Address) Record: Maps a domain name to an IPv4 address.
  2. AAAA (IPv6 Address) Record: Maps a domain name to an IPv6 address.
  3. CNAME (Canonical Name) Record: Alias of one domain name to another. It is often used to point multiple domain names to the same website.
  4. MX (Mail Exchange) Record: Specifies the mail servers responsible for receiving email messages for a domain.
  5. TXT (Text) Record: Allows domain owners to add arbitrary text information to their DNS records. It is commonly used for verification purposes, such as DKIM and SPF records for email authentication.
  6. NS (Name Server) Record: Specifies the authoritative name servers for a domain.
  7. PTR (Pointer) Record: Performs the reverse DNS lookup by mapping an IP address to a domain name.
  8. SRV (Service) Record: Specifies information about available services within a domain, such as SIP, XMPP, or LDAP.

These DNS records are managed by domain registrars or DNS hosting providers and can be modified by domain owners to configure their domain's settings, such as directing traffic to specific servers, setting up email services, and enabling domain authentication mechanisms. Proper management of DNS records is essential for ensuring the correct functioning and accessibility of websites and other online services.

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