DNS Network

The Ultimate Guide to DNS Propagation

What does DNS propagation mean?

DNS propagation is a process that includes updating and spreading the new changes and adjustments you create in your Domain Name System (DNS). They have to be distributed across the entire network. 

Managing your online business or administrating a network involves constant changes on the DNS. Some of the possible scenarios are when you have to add a new DNS record, delete or change some other DNS records, also replace IP addresses. Maybe you desire to make some adjustments on the TTL (time-to-live) values, redirect your visitors to a specific subdomain, or add an SSL certificate. These are only for illustration of how many different modifications of your DNS could appear. 

Actually, no matter what changes you desire to make, all of them are going to be stored on your authoritative DNS server. However, the network has many more DNS servers, like recursive DNS servers, positioned in different locations globally. Each one of these servers has to receive the updated data because if that doesn’t happen, they are going to have some difficulties operating properly. All of those DNS servers have a fundamental part of the DNS resolution process.

How does the DNS propagation work?

For several situations, DNS changes are required. Typical cases are when you desire to make some renovation to your website or when you migrate to a new DNS hosting provider. Different circumstances that can need it are redirecting from the primary domain to subdomains or implementing services, such as FTP and email. All of these circumstances incorporate activities, such as creating, editing, or removing DNS records. 

The administrator is going to make these corrections directly on the authoritative DNS server. Once the modifications are ready and saved inside it, it is time for the DNS propagation process to happen. That requires every DNS server on the network to obtain a copy with the latest DNS records. 

The DNS propagation process is rolling, although that doesn’t mean that it occurs simultaneously for all servers. 

How to check it?

Here you have three options to make a check on the DNS propagation. Decide depending on your operating system (OS).

For Linux and macOS users, here you have the Dig command.

First, open your Terminal, and next write: 

dig domainname.com 

It will trigger a lookup for an A or AAAA record. As a result, you are going to view the IP addresses of your website. If they have changed, DNS propagation is completed. If they haven’t, it will require a little more time.

*Replace with your domain name and TLD instead of the ones in the example.

For Windows 10 users, here you have the Nslookup command.

Open the Command Prompt, and then type: 

nslookup domainname.com

Once again, the lookup result is going to show out if your website’s IP addresses have changed or not.

*Replace with your domain name and TLD instead of the ones in the example.

Online checkers of DNS propagation.

You could use online tools for making DNS lookups to review data associated with your domain name. In addition, you can examine if the DNS modifications you created have been updated. 

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