DNS: Need to know
More and more terminologies exist on the web and never seize to grow as techs evolves every nanosecond around the World. Today we take a peek at some terminologies and what they really are starting with DNS and the rest are bonus.
Table of Contents
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This system is essentially the phone book of the Web that organizes and identifies domains. While a phone book translates a name like “GTech Booster” into the correct phone number to call, the DNS translates a web address like “www.gtechbooter.com” into the physical IP address such as”xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx” of the computer hosting that site (in this case, the GTech Booster).
When using some services on the web, you periodically need to modify your DNS settings to set up various tools and services. You do this by changing various types of DNS records. You change your domain’s MX records, for example, to direct email for your domain to to an external provider’s servers.
Mail Exchange (MX) records direct a domain’s email to the servers hosting the domain’s user accounts. Multiple MX records can be defined for a domain, each with a different priority. If mail can’t be delivered using the highest priority record, the second priority record is used, and so on.
A TXT record is a DNS record that provides text information to sources outside your domain, that can be used for a number of arbitrary purposes. The record’s value can be either human- or machine-readable text. TXT records are mostly used to verify domain ownership and to implement email security measures such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC among other functons.
A CNAME or Canonical Name record links an alias name to another true or canonical domain name. For instance, www.gtechbooster.com might link to gtechbooster.com.
An A or Address record (also known as a host record) links a domain to the physical IP address of a computer hosting that domain’s services.
Name server (NS) records determine which servers will communicate DNS information for a domain. Generally, you have primary and secondary name server records for your domain.
Time To Live (TTL)
The TTL is a value in a DNS record that determines the number of seconds before subsequent changes to the record go into effect. Each of your domain’s DNS records, such as an MX record, CNAME record, and so on, has a TTL value. A record’s current TTL determines how long it will take any change you make now to go into effect.
Changes to a record that has a TTL of 86400 seconds, for example, will take up to 24 hours to go into effect.
Note that changing a record’s TTL affects how long it will take any subsequent change to happen. We recommend setting a TTL value of 3600, which tells servers across the Internet to check every hour for updates to the record. The shorter TTL will only take effect after the prior period expires. This means that next time you update the record, your change will take up to one hour to go into effect.
To make subsequent changes happen even more quickly—for example, if you think you might want to quickly revert a change—you can set a shorter TTL, such as 300 seconds (5 minutes). Once the records are configured correctly, we recommend setting a TTL value of 86400, which tells servers across the Internet to check every 24 hours for updates to the record.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
A URL is the web address of a resource on the Internet. This is the address you type in a browser to visit a particular web site.