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Community Blog Checking, Setting, and Changing DNS Records

Checking, Setting, and Changing DNS Records

This article describes how to check, set, and change DNS records.

By Alain Francois

Nameservers store Domain Name Servers (DNS) records, which is information indicating that a specific domain maps to the corresponding IP address. Every interaction with the web is uses DNS records to provide the necessary information about a domain name, hosting, and other registration information across every site on the Internet.

Understand DNS Records

A DNS record is a database that maps URLs to IP addresses. The URL is forwarded to the DNS servers and directed to the specific server matching the corresponding IP. A DNS record has specific rules in a DNS zone. There are some DNS entries you can create and common records types you will see frequently.

DNS Records Types

DNS works with zones, and there are many types of zones (primary, secondary lookup, reverse lookup zones) that can host different recourse records. In practice, DNS records are just text that is easy to edit. The most commonly used DNS record types are:

  • A: It maps a hostname to a specific IPv4 address.
  • AAAA: It points a hostname to a specific IPv6 address.

    • CNAME: For Canonical Name, set an alias for the hostname. It points a domain or subdomain to another domain name. For example, it can allow alibabacloud.com to fetch www.alibabacloud.com.
    • PTR: We use it for reverse DNS since it maps an IPv4 or IPv6 address to the corresponding domain names.
    • MX: It stands for Mail Exchanger and allows mail to be sent to the correct mail servers of a domain.
    • NS: For Nameserver, it provides a list of the authoritative name servers responsible for the domain. In other words, it permits DNS lookups within several zones.
    • SOA stands for Start of Authority and shows where authority starts. It declares the most authoritative host for the zone and provides important details about a DNS zone.
    • TXT: They are mostly used for security and verification since they provide any type of descriptive information in text format to outside sources.
    • SRV: For Service, it points one domain to another domain name using a specific destination port. It indicates the location of servers for a particular service.

Check, Set, and Change DNS Records on Alibaba Cloud

A DNS record is a parameter of a domain name. Alibaba Cloud offers a service name Alibaba Cloud DNS that is a secure, fast, stable, and scalable authoritative DNS service:

1

You will be brought to domain name management. Click on your domain to edit its configuration:

2

After clicking on your domain name, choose "add Record":

3

A new window will be prompted where you can see a list of the records available on Alibaba Cloud DNS:

4

You can see a list of records containing everything we have seen earlier. You will also see new records that we have not seen previously:

  • CAA for Certification Authority Authorization is used to specify which certificate authorities (CAs) are allowed to issue certificates for a domain. If a CA receives an order for a certificate for a domain with a CAA record (and that CA isn't listed as an authorized issuer), they are prohibited from issuing the certificate to that domain (or any subdomain.)
  • Explicit and Implicit URLs are used to redirect a domain name to another URL. When redirecting the domain name to the URL, the Explicit URL will show the destination URL in your browser's navigation bar. This means you will clearly see that you have been redirected. Instead, with the implicit URL, the domain name source will not change in your browser's navigation bar. If you are using a reverse proxy (NGINX, Apache, etc.), you need to configure some authorization to use the Implicit URL.

Note: Don't forget! You also need to fill in the IP address of the server it points to when adding DNS records.

Conclusion

When managing DNS, you also need to manage the DNS records. More DNS records exist, and we have seen the common ones, giving us a better idea of what it is. You should notice that some providers can offer some other records that we have not seen.

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