DNS zone – Definition

The DNS zone is a plain text file that contains all of the domain’s DNS records. As you may be aware, the DNS is a complex system that functions as a global database of domain names and IP addresses. Therefore, the domain name system would not work without a dns zone.

The meaning of DNS zone

The DNS zone, as previously stated, is a simple text file that provides all of the domain’s DNS records. Therefore, a zone file is another name for this file. Each domain name has DNS records(A record, SOA record, MX record, etc.). Therefore, the Domain name system zone was created in order to keep these DNS records in order. All Domain name system records for a given zone are stored in Domain name system zones. They exist so that the entire system can become decentralized and more practically administered. A distinct Domain name system administrator is in charge of each DNS zone. For example, when you buy a domain name, you can gain the right to administer its zones. 

Furthermore, the first Domain name system record for the zone – the SOA (Start of Authority) record – contains contact information for the Domain name system administrator.

The structure of the DNS zone file

As we already said, the zone file contains all the information about the records. The basic structure is as follows:

  1. TTL – time-to-live information
  2. Domain name 
  3. SOA record information
  4. CNAME record
  5. NS record information
  6. A record
  7. MX record 

Please keep in mind that this is only an example of what might be stored in the zone file. Other forms of records, in other words, can be saved as well.

Different kinds of DNS zones

  • The primary (Master) DNS zone is where the domain name’s information is stored. The administrator has the critical ability to read and write instructions and administer the domain name in this zone. As a result, any essential changes and alterations to your Domain name system data (records) should be made in this Primary (Master) zone. All modifications or updates will be transmitted to the Secondary (Slave) DNS servers and then to the rest of the network.
  • The secondary (Slave) DNS zone is the “clone” version of the Master zone. You can only read it, and it contains all of the Domain name system data (also known as records). We mainly use it as a backup server if something happens to the Primary. It is important to note that records such as A or AAAA, MX, and others cannot be created directly in the Secondary zone. Instead, it receives all data from the Primary via a process known as DNS zone transfer.
  • The Reverse DNS zone, like the Forward (Primary), is an administrative component of the domain name space that stores records. However, it serves the exact opposite function: connecting the IP addresses to the corresponding domain name. This zone is used when implementing Reverse Domain name system, and it is restricted to only a few types of records – PTR, SOA, and NS.


The DNS zone makes administering the entire Domain system namespace much easier and more manageable. Furthermore, the Domain Name System (DNS) provides decentralization and organization by breaking it down into small pieces.

If you want your domain name to work correctly, you should point it to several servers, such as web servers, mail servers, and so on. To accomplish this, you should create your Domain name system zone and add all of the different Domain name system record types that you require.

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