Tag Archives: IP address

Two ways to speed up DNS propagation

DNS propagation – What does it mean?

DNS propagation refers to the process of updating and distributing all of the new changes and modifications that you make in your Domain Name System (DNS) to the rest of the entire network. 

When you own an online business, or perhaps, you are administrating a network, you are aware that that requires a lot of adjustments on your DNS. For instance, sometimes, you have to create, delete, or modify a DNS record, or replace an IP address. Additionally, actions such as changing the TTL (time-to-live) values, redirecting your visitors to a precise subdomain, or adding an SSL certificate also require your intervention. That is just a small part of the various different changes that could appear regarding your DNS.

Yet, the specific type of modification doesn’t matter because everything is stored on your authoritative DNS server. On the other hand, the global network includes numerous DNS servers, such as recursive DNS servers, and they are placed in different geographical locations. Each one of them has to receive the new updated information because they have an essential role in the DNS resolution process.

How to speed up DNS propagation?

The majority of the components in the domain namespace are outside of our control, such as the ISPs and the DNS root servers. They have their own policies. Yet, there are two things you could do to speed up the DNS propagation process:

  1. Set a minimal TTL (Time-to-Live) value for the DNS records, for example, several minutes.
  • You can flush the DNS cache of major public DNS resolvers, such as Google Public DNS.

There is a chance that these simple things speed up the DNS propagation significantly. Yet, there is no guarantee or way to predict how long it is actually going to take.

Can we check it?

Of course, it is possible to check the DNS propagation. We just need to examine if the IP address is changed for the domain name. That way, we could understand if the A or AAAA records are updated.

Here are several ways you can complete this task, depending on your operating system (OS).

Linux or macOS

First, you have to open the Terminal app. Inside it, you can use one useful command that is built-in in your OS – the Dig command.

dig exampledomain.com

If you prefer, you can use the Host command too.

host exampledomain.com

Windows OS

First, you have to open the Command Prompt, which is the alternative for the Terminal app. Inside it, you can use the NSlookup command.

nslookup exampledomain.com

*Make sure to replace exampledomain.com with the actual domain name you want to check.

DNS resolution: Explained step by step

DNS resolution – What is it?

DNS resolution is triggered when you type a domain name into your browser. It is a process of translating the domain name into its corresponding IP address. 

There are some situations when a domain is possible to have many IP addresses, for instance, one IPv4 and one IPv6. Through the DNS resolution, both of them are going to be requested. On the other hand, it is enough to receive just one of the addresses if there are several to connect with the domain.

The necessity for quick translation appeared long ago. Previously every of the IP addresses was stored in a manually updated Host file. When at some point, the number of devices wanting to join the Internet increased, and this way of searching was not practical anymore.

Thankfully the Domain Name System (DNS) was established, and the Internet is simple to use as we know it now. The IP addresses are how machines communicate, and users just have to write the domain name and the website loads. We don’t even realize how fast it happens.  

We suggest you to check the following article about History of the Domain Name System.

How does it work, step by step?

DNS resolution has several operations, and what triggers this process is a user who wants to visit a web page, a domain name that was not visited before.

  1. The DNS query is made when the user writes a domain name inside the browser. Then, the DNS lookup process for finding the corresponding IP address begins.
  2. The DNS recursive server receives the query. The IP address could be its cache memory (DNS cache) if the website was previously requested. Still, when it is not, the DNS recursive server is going to seek the answer through the rest of the DNS servers and finally supply the needed data. The Root server is the first place it will search.
  3. In the DNS hierarchy, the Root server is on the highest level. It provides information about the Top Level Domain (TLD), such as .com, .net, .info, .eu. and directs the query to the exact TLD server. 
  4. Next, the TLD server gives the DNS recursive server information about the proper nameserver for the searched domain name.
  5. The DNS recursive server questions the authoritative nameserver for the domain name’s IP address and successfully receives an answer.
  6. The recursive DNS server goes back to the user with the requested data. Additionally, it saves the IP address in its cache memory for later use.
  7. Finally, the browser loads the desired website, and the user is able to explore it.

The DNS resolution takes a lot of steps. Also, the DNS query has to go through several servers on the way. Yet, the user experiences all of it in just a short moment of waiting.

Why do we care about DNS resolution?

The DNS resolution matters for two reasons:

  • Speed. The first step when a user visits your website is the DNS resolution. If it takes a lot of time to load and access it, the user will probably leave your page. That is the reason why this process has to be quick.
  • Availability. The nameserver that is accountable for your domain name needs to be reliable. An additional DNS service is a great choice to make sure your domain will always be available for your customers.