DNS stands for Domain Name System.
A domain name is an easy to remember website name, for example, afrihost.com. DNS is the internets phonebook. It is a directory of domain names that translates all the domain names into IP addresses, which then points to the IP address of the server where your website or email is hosted.
When you enter a domain name into a web browser, you are asking the browser to retrieve the website that is connected to that IP address.
DNS information is a collection of records that map each Internet service to an IP address.
DNS is made up of the following records:
- A – Address record.
This record refers to the actual IP address that is associated with the domain.
- CNAME - Canonical Name record.
This record is used to indicate subdomains that might be listed under or associated with the current domain.
- NS – Name Server record.
This shows which nameservers are currently being used for your domain. Name servers answer DNS queries for a DNS zone. There are multiple DNS servers for a single domain so that name resolution works even if one DNS server fails.
- MX – Mail exchanger record.
Mail exchangers accept e-mails for the domain.
- PTR – Pointer record.
A PTR does backward lookups of domain names based on an IP address.
- SOA – Start of authority record.
The SOA record contains specific information about a DNS server, such as the domain name, primary name server, domain administrator contact details, the domain serial number and when the domain was last updated as well as how a secondary server should synchronise with the primary DNS server.
- TXT - Text record.
This record can include any additional text information about the domain that isn’t currently listed.
There are thousands of these records scattered around the world, all resolving domain names into IP addresses for Internet users. For an Internet user to be able to view a website or send an email, these DNS servers must be able to retrieve the correct DNS information for your Internet services to function correctly.