The most popular and most commonly used DNS record is exactly the A record. But, if you are just starting managing your network and you haven’t heard about it, don’t worry! Here is a little bit more information about it!
A record explained
The A record, also commonly known as address record, is a DNS (Domain Name System) resource record. It has the essential purpose of linking a domain name to its IP address (IPv4 address). Therefore every time a user desires to connect and explore a specific website, its browser is going to require the IP address which is provided with the A record. Thanks to it, it is going to understand exactly where that website is hosted and connect to it without any difficulties.
As we mentioned, the A record holds inside an IPv4 address, a 32-bit address that includes four combinations of digits divided by dots.
Here is a simple example of an IPv4 address: 188.8.131.52
In some cases, one host could hold not one but several A records. That way, a request for the domain name is going to lead to multiple locations. That is a great approach to improving the DNS resolution process, load balancing, and overall redundancy. You could add your A records in your Primary (Master) DNS zone. It is actually a very simple task to complete. You just have to add them inside together with the domain name and the IPv4 addresses.
What is inside the A record?
The A record has a very simple and easy-to-understand structure. Let’s see what is inside:
Host: In this field, you should place a particular hostname, such as website.net. Of course, for that host, you could create several A records.
Type: In this field, you should determine the DNS record type. In ower case, that is A.
To: Here, you should place the IPv4 address of the precise host—for instance, 184.108.40.206. In this field, you place just a single IPv4 address. In case your domain is available on several IP addresses, you should create the same number of A records.
TTL: In this field, you are able to determine the precise TTL (Time-to-live) value for the DNS record in seconds. Thanks to it, servers understand for how long the information is valid.
A record vs. PTR record
The A record is used to map the domain name to its IPv4 address. On the other hand, the PTR record, which is also known as the pointer record, acts in exactly the opposite direction. Its main purpose is to link an IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) to its domain name. With it, you could perform Reverse DNS lookups.
You are probably wondering why that is necessary. Actually, domain owners add the PTR record for a very important and precise goal – to prove that the IP address is for sure belonging to that domain name. The implementation of the pointer record helps with preventing spam and improving the deliverability of your email messages. In addition, for each PTR record, you are required to have an A record.
Thanks to the A record, you are able to link your domain name and IP address. As a result, all of your clients can connect and explore your website. So, now you understand why that DNS record is so important and valuable!