Most commonly used DNS record types

Starting learning about DNS, you will have many challenges. It is hard to understand the matter. The best way to understand it is in bite-size chunks. This is why we want to show you the first and most commonly used DNS record types. They are easy to understand, and you will probably start using all of them from day 1. So A, AAAA, CNAME, NS, SOA, MX, PTR, and TXT records are a must.

A record

The A record is what you think when somebody says DNS. It links the domain name to the IP address version 4 that it has. That way, people remember just domain names and don’t bother with IP addresses.

AAAA record

The AAAA record serves the same purpose as the A record, but it makes the connection between a domain name and an IPv6 address. The sixth version brings many more available IP addresses and other additional features. The AAAA records currently are working together with the A records and are saved in the same zone.

CNAME record

CNAME or canonical record is a way to simplify the management of subdomains. You just point the subdomain like to the actual name (without the www. part), and that way, you don’t need to add extra records for that subdomain. All queries for the subdomain will go to the main one.

NS record

The nameserver records have the purpose of showing all the nameservers for the particular domain. You can have multiple NS records and add all the available ns servers.

SOA record

The SOA record will indicate the beginning of authority. It will point to the authoritative name server. The one who has the original information, not a DNS recursive server that has a copy in their cache memory. You must have a SOA record for each zone you are creating.

MX record

You need to add MX records to show to the senders, which are the mail servers that you have for the domain name that you have. When they do a MX lookup for the domain, they will see the responsible email server for receiving emails on behalf of that domain name, and they can send the emails without problems. Without a MX record, you can’t actually receive emails or be sure to receive 100% of what people are sending you.

PTR record

This record is used for backchecks. It points an IPv4 or IPv6 address to a hostname. Why do you need it? Because the rest of the servers somewhere in the world might need to confirm that an IP address really belongs to a hostname before using a service, engage in communication, or any other activity. It is used a lot in the verification of the host.

TXT record

TXT is a simple and readable DNS record. You can make a txt lookup and from the answer, understand it well. It is used to verify the host or a complete chain of trust. You can see multiple TXT records for the same domain like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Each has a different mechanism to check a part and verify that it is correct.


These are the 8 most commonly used DNS record types. These for sure you have to know how to use. Of course, there are more, but this is a great start when you are learning about the DNS.

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