The domain name system (DNS) is integral to today’s Internet, and on the surface, it seems incredibly complicated. It’s little wonder that DNS confuses so many people. However, if you get to know some of the most common DNS records – and how they’re used – it’s easy to get a sense of how this technology works.

DNS records are mapping files that tell the DNS server which IP address each domain is associated with, and how to handle requests sent to each domain.

When someone visits a website, a request is forwarded to the DNS server and then forwarded to the web server provided by a web hosting company, which contain the data contained on the site.

Various strings of letters are used as commands that dictate the actions of the DNS server, and these strings of commands are called DNS syntax.

Some DNS records syntax that is commonly used in nearly all DNS record configurations is A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, PTR, NS, SOA, SRV, TXT.

DNS Syntax Types Explained

  • An “A” record, which stands for “address” is the most basic type of syntax used in DNS records, indicating the actual IP address of the domain.
  • The “AAAA” record is an IPV6 address record that maps a hostname to a 128-bit Ipv6 address.  Regular DNS addresses are mapped to 32-bit IPv4 addresses.
  • The “CNAME” record stands for “canonical name” and serves to make one domain an alias of another domain. CNAME is often used to associate new subdomains with an existing domain’s DNS records.
  • The “MX” record stands for “mail exchange” and is a list of mail exchange servers that are to be used for the domain.
  • The “PTR” record stands for “pointer record” and maps an Ipv4 address to the CNAME on the host.
  • The “NS” record stands for “name server” and indicates which Name Server is authoritative for the domain.
  • An “SOA” record stands for “State of Authority” and is easily one of an essential DSN records because it stores important information like when the domain was last updated and much more.
  • An “SRV” record stands for “service” and is used to define a TCP service on which the domain operates.
  • A “TXT” record lets the administrator insert any text they’d like the DNS record, and it is often used for denoting facts about the domain.

Check in a detailed article about how to edit DNS records in cPanel and Plesk.

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