DNS propagation – Everything you need to know

DNS propagation is a process that requires time, and you probably wonder what is happening during it. So let’s explain a little bit more about it.  

DNS propagation explained 

DNS propagation is a process that includes updating the modifications that you make in your DNS. When you create new DNS records or edit your existing ones, all of them are stored in the authoritative DNS name server. 

Although there are many DNS servers on the network. Such as the recursive ones, which are located at various points of the planet. Every one of them has to be updated for the modifications to function properly. It is important to remember that all of these servers are going to be elements of the DNS resolution process.

DNS propagation is the time that it will be needed to propagate, to update the modifications to all of the recursive servers.

How does the DNS propagation work?

DNS change is necessary for several situations. If you want to renovate your old website into a new one or migrate to a new hosting provider, are examples of the popular ones. Other cases that can require it are redirecting from the main domain to subdomains or adding services like FTP and email. In all of these scenarios are included actions like creating, editing, or deleting DNS records. 

The administrator will perform these modifications straight on the authoritative server. When the changes are saved there, the process of updating has to happen. That means that every DNS server on the network has to receive a copy with the new DNS records. 

The DNS propagation process is running, but that doesn’t mean that it happens at the same time for all servers. 

How much time does it need?

The DNS propagation does not happen very quickly. It could take 48 hours or even maybe 72 hours. It all depends on the TTL values and when your recursive DNS servers got their update. A recursive server will not check for updates if the DNS records that it has in the cache memory aren’t expired.

How to check it?

It is a simple task. Here are two ways to perform it depending on your OS.

Windows 10

On Windows OS, first, you will have to open the Command Prompt. Inside it, you can use the Nslookup command for your website. Write the following: 

 nslookup example.com

*Just change example.com with your domain name.

It will complete a lookup for an A or AAAA record. Then, it should display the IP addresses for your website. So you can check if they have already been updated.

macOS and Linux

For macOS/Linux OS, you can benefit from performing a dig command. First, open the Terminal on your computer. After that you have to write the following: 

dig example.com

You are going to receive a similar answer to the nslookup command on Windows OS, which is the A or AAAA record and the current IP addresses. 

*Write your domain name on the place of example.com.

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