The Domain Name System (DNS) is pretty extensive, and DNS records help for its easier management. So, for every beginner it is essential to know and understand the fundamental ones. Here is a short but very useful cheat sheet with the most common DNS records!
A brief introduction to DNS records
DNS record is a simple instruction related to a particular domain name. The entire collection of records is gathered in a zone file in the DNS zone. The authoritative DNS server of the specific domain name stores all of this information. Each record has its purpose and function. That is why all of them are very fundamental for the proper operation of the domain.
DNS records – Cheat sheet
SOA record: The Start of Authority record shows administrative data about the domain, plus contact info for the DNS administrator. Additionally, it also contains some fundamental parameters, such as Refresh rate and Retry rate.
A record: This record points a domain name to its corresponding IPv4 address.
AAAA record: It is similar to the A record. However, it points a domain name to its associated IPv6 address.
MX record: The mail exchange record has the purpose of showing which is the mail server responsible for receiving email messages for the domain name.
CNAME record: This record is commonly used for subdomains. It shows which is the actual canonical domain. Thanks to it, you could manage your subdomains very easily.
NS record: This is also another very fundamental DNS record. Its goal is to indicate which is the authoritative name server for the domain name.
TXT record: This type of DNS record allows you to associate some text with a host, including human-readable information about a server, network, data center, etc. In most cases, it is used for email security.
PTR record: It is oftentimes called pointer record, and its purpose is exactly the opposite of the A record and AAAA record. The PTR record links an IP address to its associated domain name. The good news about it is that it operates perfectly both with IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses.
How to check them?
You could see all of the available DNS records for a particular domain name by using just one simple command – the Dig command. It has a command-line interface (CLI), and it works on almost every Operating System (OS), such as Linux, Windows, and macOS.
First, you should open the Terminal app if you are a Linux or macOS user. In case you are using Windows, you should open the Command Prompt.
Next, in case you want to view all of the DNS records that are available for a domain, you should type the following:
dig yourwebsite.com ANY
*Make sure to replace the example domain name with the one you desire to check.
You are going to receive the complete pack of DNS records and detailed information!