DNS records are an essential part of managing a DNS. Every one of them has a specific and very important functionality. To achieve a perfectly working DNS, it is crucial to know what is their main purpose. Here we have 5 most commonly used DNS records that are good to know for a start. Let’s see which are they and what they do!
SOA for short means Start Of Authority, and it is important to know this record first. It indicates the beginning of the authority DNS zone. Inside it, you can discover information, which is crucial for the DNS zone. For the normal functionality of your DNS network, this record is a must-have. The SOA record indicates the primary DNS server. It includes data about the domain administrator and their email for contact. Also, parameters including the domain serial number and how often it should refresh. There should be only one SOA record for one DNS zone.
The A record is probably the first one that comes to your mind when we are talking about DNS. Its purpose is very simple but yet essential. The A record connects the domain name (hostname) to its corresponding IP address. Every time a user wants to visit your website, will write the domain name, but what it actually needs to find is its IP address. The user’s browser will perform a search for the A record to resolve the query. Once it finds it, the browser will know exactly where the site is, and it will be able to load it to the user.
The NS (Name server) record is indicating precisely which are the authoritative name servers for a specific DNS zone. The NS record links your domain name to the hostname of the name servers.
For example, yourdomain.net to ns1.yourdomain.net.
You need to specify which are the authoritative name servers and use the NS record. If you don’t do that, simply your DNS zone won’t work. That is the reason why we couldn’t skip this record in our list. It is crucial!
This DNS record is also one of the must-haves in case you want to be able to send emails without problems. The PTR record has the exact opposite functionality of the A record. Also, this record is at the foundation of Reverse DNS. The PTR record points an IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) to a domain name. The need for this record appears when you send an email. The recipient requires to verify if this email was sent on behalf of the actual domain. You have to be careful when you configure your A record and PTR record because otherwise, your emails will end in the spam folder of your recipients. Nobody wants this to happen, right?
The MX record or Mail Exchanger record indicates the email server responsible for receiving emails for the exact domain. In addition, it points the domain name to the hostname of the incoming mail server. It is important to note that it is a hostname and not an IP address. You can add several MX records to create a backup if there is any difficulty.
The reason to consider MX records is simple. Without it, you will not receive emails. For businesses, that is a pretty solid reason to care.