DNS Records Cheat Sheet

DNS (Domain Name System) records can be quite confusing. They all do their own things and are helpful in so many ways. So, we built this DNS Records Cheat Sheet so you can easily understand what each DNS Record does and why they are important.

What is a DNS record?
A DNS record is where DNS servers create a record that provides important information about a domain, specifically the current IP address.

DNS Records do many different things. They all work together to tell the Recursive DNS Server particular details and information about a domain, including the IP address of where it lives, email server information, redirects, and much more.

The most common DNS Records are the following:

Record Type Description
A Record  This maps your hostname to an IPv4 address.
AAAA Record Similar to an A Record, but this allows you to point to an IPv6 address
NS Record (Name Server) An NS record or (name server record) tells recursive name servers which name servers are authoritative for a zone.  Recursive name servers look at the NS records to work out who to ask next when resolving a name.
CNAME Record (Canonical Name) The target host is a hostname that the host you are creating resolves to. This host must be an actual hostname that resolves to an IP address.
MX Record (Mail Exchange) Directs email to a mail server
TXT Record (Text) Text records are used to describe a host or a DNS entry. You can enter anything you want as long as it is 255 characters or less.  
SRV Record (Service Record) An SRV record describes services offered by a host. It defines the location of a server (port number and hostname).  They are commonly used in SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and XMPP Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol protocols.
SOA Record (Start of Authority) The SOA resource record is an essential part of the DNS zone file, it indicates the basic properties of the domain name server and the zone that the domain is in. Each zone file can contain only one SOA record. At No-IP, we build this record automatically by pulling from email, TTLs (Time to Live), and NS (Name Server) settings.
PTR (Pointer Record) Provides the domain name associated with an IP address. This record is the exact opposite of an A Record.
CAA Record (Certification Authority Authorization) This record is a way for you as a domain owner to make it known to everyone which certificate authorities can issue SSL/TLS certificates for your domain.
Round Robin This maps your hostname to multiple IP address. Only used for DNS based load balancing (not common).