DNS records: Beginner-friendly guide

Are you confused about all the different types of DNS records and how to manage them? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. DNS records are an essential part of the Domain Name System, and understanding how they work is critical to keeping your website or service secure and running smoothly. In this blog post, we’ll explain what each of the different DNS records is used for and provide some tips for managing them. So keep reading to find out everything you need about DNS records and how to manage them!

A record

A DNS A record, or Address Record, is an essential component of the Domain Name System (DNS). It is an entry in the DNS database that helps to map a domain name to its associated IP address (IPv4 and IPv6 for AAAA record), allowing traffic from one domain to be directed to the correct resource. It is also possible to use A records to direct traffic to different devices or services through one domain, as the A record can specify a different IP address for each hosting server. Additionally, A records help improve a website’s security, as the authoritative name servers compare the incoming requests with their A records to verify the domain and ensure that the user is reaching the correct resource. Ultimately, A records are essential for providing both the convenience and security of a website or service, making it an integral part of the DNS.

SOA record

The DNS SOA (Start of Authority) record is a critical component of domain name resolution. This record defines a domain’s authoritative name server and contains the domain’s serial number, admin contact information, and the domain’s primary name server’s name. This record is necessary for ensuring that domain changes propagate correctly to other name servers and that the domain runs efficiently. Thus, the DNS SOA record is an essential part of mapping a domain name to its associated IP address and helps ensure a domain’s correct running.

PTR record

A PTR (Pointer) record is an essential part of the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows domain names to be mapped to their associated IP address. This record works in conjunction with an A record, helping to direct web traffic to the right resource. A PTR record is a reverse lookup A record, which points from an IP address to its associated domain name. This mapping is used for resolving hostnames for IP addresses, ensuring that the user reaches the correct domain. Thus, PTR records are essential for ensuring the efficient working of the DNS by providing that web browsers can access the right website.

MX record

An MX (Mail Exchange) record is an entry in the Domain Name System (DNS) database that specifies the mail server responsible for accepting emails sent to the domain. MX records are used to route emails sent to the domain to the right mail server and thus are an essential part of the email delivery process. For example, an MX record could be used to send all emails sent to a specific domain to the same mail server, regardless of which user it was sent to. This makes it simpler to manage the email accounts of a domain, as the MX record will take care of the routing and ensure the emails reach the correct destinations. Ultimately, the MX record is essential to the emailing process, providing both convenience and security to domain owners.

TXT record

A TXT (Text) record is an entry in the Domain Name System (DNS) database that stores text data such as machine-readable instructions, administrative information, or even human-readable messages. This record type is used for various purposes, from domain authentication to providing additional information about the domain. For example, it can be used to verify that a domain belongs to the user and to provide extra security when sending sensitive information through the domain. In addition, TXT records can also be used to deliver customized messages or instructions for web or email clients. Thus, TXT records are an essential part of a domain name system, providing helpful information to users and helping to ensure secure communication.

Tips for managing DNS records

  1. It is essential to keep DNS records up to date with any domain changes and renew any expiring records with the right settings. 
  2. Most DNS hosting services use encryption protocols to protect records, but there is still a potential risk if stored on-site. 
  3. Domain administrators should monitor their DNS records periodically to check for suspicious activity. 
  4. Taking steps to manage DNS records properly can help ensure a domain’s smooth running and security.
  5. It is vital to ensure that DNS records are stored securely. 
  6. Regularly checking and updating DNS records can help to ensure that web traffic is routed to the correct servers or services.

Conclusion

In conclusion, DNS records are essential to the Domain Name System. Understanding how each type of record functions is vital to keeping your website or service running efficiently and securely. By taking the proper steps to manage DNS records, such as keeping them up to date and stored securely, you can ensure that your domain runs smoothly and that web traffic is routed correctly to the correct servers or services. Ultimately, having a good grasp of DNS records and how to manage them is essential for ensuring the success of any domain.

Everything you need to know about Dynamic DNS

A Dynamic DNS (also known as DDNS) is a highly beneficial service for every Internet user. Why? Let’s see now.

Introduction to Dynamic DNS

The day before your important presentation, you’re on the road, and after a hard day of driving, you turn on your Laptop to review your slides one final time. But, unfortunately, the powerpoint on which the future of your company hinges is sitting on your computer at home, thousands of miles away, and you remember you forgot to bring them with you.

This would be fine if some thinking and preparation were put into it. Connect to your personal computer and use FTP to download the file. However, if you don’t know a remote computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, you can’t log in to it. If you’re like most of us, your Internet service provider will also give your computer a dynamic IP address, which changes frequently. Fortunately, a workaround uses Dynamic DNS, a type of Internet technology.

What is the idea (goal) of Dynamic DNS?

To understand Dynamic DNS (DDNS), you must first understand DNS. It is a system that connects a domain name, such as squadrainformatica.com, to an IP address (92.38.169.175).

Dynamic DNS uses the same principle but with a WAN IP that is “dynamic,” or varies over time. Most home internet plans do not include a static WAN IP because getting one that is fixed and never changes is expensive.

In other terms, you should usually rely on something other than your actual WAN IP address to dial your home phone, although if you note it or remember it. This is due to the possibility that the address will now be on someone else’s home network when you do.

We use DDNS to fix this issue. It connects the WAN IP address you are using right now, whatever it may be, with a trustworthy domain name of your choice.

Therefore, as a result, you can access your home network using that label (domain name) from anywhere in the globe without having to know its IP address.

How valuable is this service?

DDNS can provide the following advantages:

  • DDNS is a cost-effective choice. There are DDNS providers that are both free and premium. Nevertheless, it is less expensive than giving your company’s equipment static IP addresses.
  • Any time the IP address of the DNS server changes, you will be notified immediately.
  • Installing security cameras requires a solid and stable Internet connection. Due to Dynamic DNS, they will continue to run continually.
  • Employees who use a VPN or work remotely should be able to access information quickly and easily.
  • Plain solution. The program will be installed as soon as you sign up for the service. 
  • There is no disruption to access to your server or site. If the IP address keeps changing, it has no effect. Your website will be accessible to visitors.
  • If you employ your pcs to host an app, game server, or website, you will notice the benefits of Dynamic DNS.

Conclusion

Let’s recapitulate. By using Dynamic DNS, you can run programs that ordinarily need a static IP address and prevent connection drops. Without a static IP address, hosting servers (web servers, email servers, FTP servers) would be highly challenging or impossible, but Dynamic DNS makes it simple.

What is the purpose of DNS Monitoring?

All types of businesses require monitoring, especially DNS Monitoring. Observing and constantly checking the processes and progress to guarantee quality and good results are necessary. Online businesses are not an exception.

What does DNS Monitoring mean?

Domain Name System (DNS) Monitoring means automated checking of the different processes that DNS involves. An effective DNS monitoring must keep you updated in detail about all DNS activity, detect issues, and alert you on time about problems or cyber threats. This way, the administrator or responsible in your team can properly react.

DNS monitoring involves different technology, techniques, and software for the surveillance of your systems and diagnosis of issues. You can build your own Domain Name System Monitoring strategy or get it as a service. There are many providers on the market offering modern solutions and support to keep your DNS running smoothly.

What is the purpose of DNS Monitoring?

There are many actors involved for your domain to be online, reachable, and working without problems. Avoiding configuration errors, software or hardware failures, cyberattacks, or downtime demands to keep everything under systematic review.

The purpose of DNS Monitoring is to help you keep DNS performance at healthy levels for your domain to be reliable, meaning to operate on the Internet without issues that can stop traffic or disappoint clients. Remember that any problem related to DNS can drop your business from the Internet. Clients and potential ones won’t have access to it, and that means financial loss or a bad reputation for you.

These are the types of tasks Domain Name System Monitoring is in charge of checking.

  • It tracks DNS queries and servers to detect performance problems.
  • It checks the DNS resolution process to be sure the domain name is correctly translated to its associated IP address.
  • In case a DNS server doesn’t answer as expected, DNS monitoring should detect and alert about the issue to be fixed.
  • It supervises the traffic (incoming and outgoing) to get statistics and helpful patterns to compare the daily activity. From there, you can distinguish normal from abnormal traffic.
  • It alerts about spikes of traffic or potential floods and cyber attacks.
  • It warns about sudden or rare changes in configurations, localized outages, and more.
  • It keeps an eye on the hardware to supervise its adequate performance, detect possible problems, and alert the right mate to fix it.

Advantages of DNS Monitoring

  • DNS Monitoring improves your DNS security while increasing the possibility of preventing all types of threats and failures.
  • It is a great ally to detecting on time and mitigating cyber attacks (DoS, DDoS).
  • It is the best workmate for your diagnosis and troubleshooting team.
  • It operates 24/7, without any breaks, to provide complete supervision.
  • It can be connected to a DNS Failover and trigger automatic actions that will perform load balancing and keep the DNS network well.

Conclusion

Briefly, the purpose of DNS Monitoring is to provide you with automated and sharp ‘extra eyes’ to keep your DNS and online business running securely and in the best technical conditions.

Domain Name System (DNS): Definition & Main components

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a huge network of nameservers that routes DNS queries and makes the Internet possible. There are many things to cover, so let’s jump right into the topic.

Domain Name System (DNS) definition.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a decentralized, hierarchical network of servers that get questions through DNS queries about domain names (hosts) and answer with DNS records holding the answers. The most common question is where a particular domain name is, and the DNS resolves the question with the IP address where the content is hosted.

Let’s see the main DNS components. 

DNS records

The DNS records are text instructions with various functions like linking domain names to IP addresses, services to hosts, verifying services, and more. They are hosted in a so-called zone file inside DNS servers. The servers can be Primary DNS servers and Secondary DNS servers. The records can be edited only on Primary servers, while the Secondary have only a copy of the records.

DNS query

A DNS query is the question a DNS client asks a DNS server. Depending on the purpose, the client requests different types of DNS records. For example, if a DNS client wants the IP address of Google, he or she will ask for its A or AAAA records that include IP addresses.

Recursive DNS servers

When you perform a DNS query, the Recursive server will be the one that will search for your answer. It is the intermediate that asks other Recursive servers and gets an answer from them or goes to the highest level of authority, the Root servers. It will return the answer to the DNS client and create more queries if the answer is not complete. After the answer is given, it will be saved inside the cache of the Recursive server, the time the TTL of the DNS records indicates.

Authoritative nameservers

The authoritative name servers are those DNS servers that host the original zone file for a domain. They will have the answer for a particular part of the DNS. As we said, it is a hierarchical and decentralized network, so there are many authoritative servers that respond for a particular part of the domain. 

Root servers

The Root servers and Authoritative name servers from the highest level. In a DNS query, they will be the first that will start to answer your query. They will only guide your query to the right Top-Level Domain servers (TLD). There are many main DNS components, but this is the highest.

TLD servers

The TLD servers are authoritative for Top-Level Domains like .com, .de, .it, and so on. They will know where the nameservers of domains, using their TLD, are located. They will answer this part of the query and provide the answer to the Recursive servers.

Authoritative nameservers for domain names and subdomains.

Now, finally knowing the nameservers of a domain name, the Recursive server can ask for the right DNS record or records. The query will be answered, and the result will be returned to the DNS client.

If the DNS query was for a subdomain, then there will be one more level of answer searching. The final answer will come from the authoritative server of the subdomain.