Top 5 DNS record types for starters
In case you are just starting to manage your DNS, these top 5 DNS record types are fundamental to know. So, let’s explain a little bit more about them.
The A record is also commonly called address record, and it is perhaps the most popular of all DNS record types. Its purpose is to link a domain name to its corresponding IP address (IPV4 address). When a user makes a request for a particular domain name, exactly the A record is needed to show the accurate IP address.
Although it is a very simple DNS record, it is a crucial part of the DNS configuration. Your domain name could not be resolved without this type of DNS record (or AAAA record). Moreover, your users are not going to be directed to the correct location.
SOA record is another critical DNS record that symbolizes the start of authority. It holds administrative information about the zone. It is the first DNS record that a DNS zone file includes, plus it establishes the general properties of that zone. It also holds data concerning the zone transfers, such as the refresh rate, the retry rate, and the administrator’s email.
The SOA record serves as a control record with a serial number and shows if there is a new update. Once the Secondary DNS servers detect a change in the number, they are going to update and receive the latest data.
The NS record is another very basic DNS record. NS stands for the nameserver, and it is similar to an ID card for the nameserver. The NS record describes which name server is accountable for the particular DNS zone. If such a record is not available, the zone won’t be able to work.
Another piece of the essential DNS record types, the MX record, which comes from Mail Exchanger record. Its purpose is to point the email server accountable for receiving emails for a specific domain name. It contains the domain name pointing to the hostname of the incoming mail server. Note that it has to point to a hostname and not to an IP address.
By establishing multiple MX records with different priorities, you could set a backup in case some failures occur. It is vital for you in order to receive emails properly.
The CNAME record shows an actual, canonical domain name for the domain or subdomain. It is commonly used when we are talking about subdomains. By implementing this DNS record type, you are going to be able to manage and administrate your Domain Name System as easily as possible.
The way to achieve that is by simply adding a CNAME record for each of your subdomains and pointing it to the domain name. As a result, each time you complete any changes or adjustments to your domain, they will occur to your subdomains too. That is going to save you a lot of time!
Related article: PTR record: Why should you care about it?