What are DNS records?

What are DNS records?

This article explains what the different types of DNS records do and how they work.

Each domain name comes with DNS data or DNS records, to make sure that all web and mail traffic is sent to the correct servers. Please contact our help desk or your IT administrator for more information.

A record

An A record refers hostnames to IP addresses. This way, your domain name refers to your hosting account on Register.eu servers.

 For example: www.ninefortwo.be uses an A record to refer to IP address

You can also use wild cards, to make sure that combinations with that specific wildcard redirect to your IP address.

Example: *.ninefortwo.be uses an A record to refer to

But it also means that www.ninefortwo.be, test.ninefortwo.be and sub.ninefortwo.be refer to that specific IP address. Separate A or CNAME records exceed the wildcards.

CNAME record

This record makes hostnames refer to other hostnames. The result is the same as an A record, except that there is no reference to an IP address, only to a different host name. Example: www.ninefortwo.be uses a CNAME record to refer to www.ninefortwo.com

MX record

An MX record, or mail exchange record, ensures that your email traffic is properly routed. It determines which servers are responsible for the processing of your e-mails and in what order this needs to be done. The order is determined by a system of priorities expressed in a figure: a low figure represents a high priority.

For example: ninefortwo.be has an MX record mx.mailprotect.be with priority 10 ninefortwo.be has an MX record mx.backup.mailprotect.be with priority 50

In this example, the e-mail traffic will first be offered to the MX record with the highest priority, here being mx.mailprotect.be. If this mail server can not be reached or does not respond, emails for the domain will be offered to the MX record with the next priority, namely mx.backup.mailprotect.be.

Important: the destination address of an MX record must be a hostname instead of an IP address. So if you need to change the MX record and only have one IP address, you must first create an A record to that IP address (eg mail.ninefortwo.be to and then refer to the newly created A record in an MX record.

TXT record

These records are used to link hostnames to text. TXT records are usually used to set SPF records (Sender Policy Framework) as an antispam feature. This is because SPF records determine which IP addresses are valid for the originating mail servers. The receiving mail server can check the SPF records. If the IP address does not match that of the sending mail server, the mail is marked as spam.

Have in mind it can take some time before any DNS changes take effect. Say for an A-record, CNAME, MX-record, TXT-record – It could easily take up to 4 hours. For name servers – it is about 24 hours. Occasionally it could reach up to 36 hours.