What is a DNS Record? This article will briefly explain what a DNS Record is, how many types of DNS Records there are, and why you would ever need to know or care! The DNS stands for “Domain Name Server”. What does that mean? What’s in a name? A name can be humorous, descriptive, inviting or off-putting. In just a word or two, a name can convey the personality of a person, or a business. In my case, my parents wanted to name their children after what they felt their future profession would be. They named my sister Sue, and no joke, she is a lawyer. When my brother Knuckles was born he had huge, knobby knuckles, and sure enough, he is a proctologist. My parents named my youngest sister Connie, and you got it–she is the proud owner and operator of one of those Connie Island hot dog restaurants. That is why my name is URL. It is spelled URL but pronounced Earl. They named me URL and spelled it U-R-L because website design was beginning to be a big thing when I was born. So I am Uncle URL, I would love to be the one that asks the questions for which maybe you always wanted to know the answer.
I’m all alone in the barn today, just sitting, thinking about questions like “What is a DNS Record” and every once in a while singing to the cows. Of course, they are looking up at me with their huge, wise, knowing eyes as if to say, “Hmmm… pitchy…”
Remember, there are no dumb questions, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling dumb when I ask them, so instead of anyone out there feeling silly, I’ll ask the questions for you! So let’s talk about DNS Records for a moment, shall we?
What is a DNS Record
First of all, every device that can connect to the internet has its own address, called an IP address. IP is short for Internet Protocol. This address is not fun or easy to remember. It is a string of numbers that nobody except a computer could make any sense out of. My IP address looks like this: 193.1689.1.2. What does that mean? Dunno, Duncare. That’s where the DNS comes into play. The confusing, jargony way to say it is this: DNS records are the elements that tell the DNS which URLs are associated with a given IP address. HA! What did I just say? HA! Let’s try it again: DNS stands for Domain Name Server. The DNS system assigns websites more recognizable domain names, like 212Creative.com When you type a web address into your browser, the DNS looks up that domain name and then routes your browser to the right place.
What are the three types of DNS Records?
Just so you don’t lose sleep wondering, I will answer the burning question I’m sure you have: “Uncle URL, how many types of records are there on a DNS?” There are three types of records on a DNS. They are:
1. The A Record
2. The CNAME Record
3. The MX Record
Let’s talk about the A record. The “A” stands for “Address”. This is the type of record we were just talking about, the one that guides a domain name to a particular computer IP address.
The CNAME record stands for “Canonical Name”. Don’t have to worry about this one so much, except if you change web hosting services, your new web host will ask for you access to your old hosting service, so they can ‘Point” your website to the new hosting server. This is done with the CNAME record. This is something most of us never have to worry about.
MX stands for “Mail Exchange”. The MX records tell the DNS server where to deliver email.
Now that all of that jargon is cleared up, let’s have some fun and sing a poorly worded song about it to the tune of “Dry bones!” “Them records, them records, them DNS records…The A record points to the… IP address, the CNAME points to the…A records and the MX records help route emails!”
It is my sincere hope that you have a better understanding of DNS records after this brief article. Until next time, I’ll be sitting here, asking questions and getting answers, and once in a while, singing a song and getting judged by bovines!
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