Here you have 5 most popular DNS records. You will find them on your first day of managing a DNS. Each of them is extremely important for the right functionality of the DNS. There are many more DNS record types, but those 5 essential DNS records are a good start for the first contact with the DNS records.
The A record is the best-known record out there. It is the first that you will add to your Master zone. It links the hostname to its IP address. The address, in this case, is IPv4 (32-bit).
When somebody wants to visit your site, he or she will need the A record to find the domain name’s IP address. When he or she types the domain name, his or her browser will go on a look for the A record, and when it finds it, it can resolve the domain.
The A record is still popular, despite there is a newer AAAA record.
The AAAA record is a newer DNS record than the A record with a similar purpose – it too links domain name to IP address. The difference is that in this case, the IP address is IPv6 (128-bit). The IPv6 is here to replace the IPv4, which is already not sufficient. Just like the A record, you can add AAAA records to the Master zone. You can have multiple AAAA records for better availability.
Now, you can see both A and AAAA records together, but the AAAA record will completely replace the A record in the future.
The Name server records (NS records) show which are the authoritative name servers for the particular DNS zone. They will link your domain name to the hostname of the name servers. Example – domain.com to ns1.domain.com. You need to put NS records and specify which are the authoritative name servers or simply your zone won’t work. Do you see how we couldn’t skip this record in our 5 most popular DNS record list?
The MX record is a Mail Exchanger record that shows, who is the email server, that should receive emails for the particular domain. It should have the domain name and point to the hostname of the incoming mail server. Take a note. It must point to a hostname, not an IP address.
You can have multiple MX records and set different priorities. That way, you can have a backup MX record in case there is a problem.
Why should you care about the MX record? It is simple. Without MX records, you will not be able to receive emails. Good enough reason, right?
The TXT record looks simpler than other DNS records but actually has many faces. A TXT record could be a DMARC, DKIM, SPF, or another. Visually, it could be read even from a human. It can have different values to define how a certain process must be handle. A lot of its value in the world of DNS comes from the fact that TXT records serve various verification functions. They add extra security to the processes. The TXT records are mostly used in sending, receiving, and reporting emails.
Now you know more about the 5 most popular DNS records. The DNS world is vast, but you have already made your first step. Congratulations. Go ahead and deep dive into each of them. Learn them well and start using them.