What is DNS?

Domain Name System (DNS) is a decentralized system that converts human-readable website names into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand. It's an essential component of the internet that enables users to access websites by typing in their names, rather than having to remember numerical IP addresses.

DNS works by a client (usually a web browser) sending a request to a DNS resolver, which then looks up the numerical IP address for the requested website and returns it to the client. The client can then use this IP address to establish a connection to the web server hosting the website and request the content.

DNS is an important part of the infrastructure of the internet and plays a critical role in enabling access to websites and other internet resources.

Types of DNS records

There are several types of DNS records, each serving a specific purpose. Some of the most common types of DNS records are:

  • A records: A records (short for "address records") map a domain name to an IP address. They are used to convert human-readable domain names (like example.com) into numerical IP addresses (like that computers can understand.
  • MX records: MX records (short for "mail exchange records") specify the servers responsible for handling email for a domain. They are used to route email to the correct mail servers for a domain.
  • CNAME records: CNAME records (short for "canonical name records") are used to create an alias for a domain name. They allow multiple domain names to point to the same IP address.
  • TXT records: TXT records (short for "text records") are used to store text-based information in the DNS. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as storing information about a domain, verifying domain ownership, and setting up email authentication.
  • NS records: NS records (short for "name server records") specify the name servers responsible for a domain. They are used to delegate control of a domain's DNS to other name servers.

There are many other types of DNS records, but these are some of the most common ones.


There are many websites that can help you learn more about DNS records. Some good ones to check out include:

  • The Wikipedia page on Domain Name System (DNS) is a comprehensive resource that provides an overview of DNS and the different types of DNS records.
  • The website DNSstuff.com provides a variety of tools and resources for working with DNS, including a DNS record lookup tool, DNS diagnostic tools, and information about DNS best practices.
  • The website DNSimple.com has a series of articles on their blog that provide in-depth explanations of different types of DNS records and how to use them.
  • The website Cloudflare.com also has a wealth of information about DNS and how it works, including guides on how to set up and manage DNS records for your domain.