How to Decode DNS Zone Types

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What is a DNS Zone?

A DNS Zone is part of a group of components that make up DNS. These objects are managed by an administrator or organization in a granular manner. DNS zones can contain varied information about a domain and subdomains. Multiple zones can also exist on the same server.  DNS information is stored within a text file called a DNS zone file.

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Understanding the DNS Process

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What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System (DNS) services. When we access a website, we are using this service to locate the server where the domain’s website is located. When browsing the web, we usually type in a domain name like www.google.com into our browser. This is better than trying to remember an IP address linked to a Google server.

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How to Perform a Reverse DNS Lookup

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The purpose of DNS is typically used to resolve a domain name to an IP address. This act is known as a forward resolution and is performed every time you visit a site on the internet. Reverse DNS (or rDNS), as its name implies, is a method of resolving an IP address back to a domain name.

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How to Update Reverse DNS in Manage

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If you have a Storm VPS or a Liquid Web Dedicated server-based account and you want to update or modify the reverse DNS of your IP addresses, you can do so easily using your Manage account.

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How To Setup A Domain In Cloudflare

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Full Cloudflare Website Integration

In this article, we will discuss how to set up our domain in a full Cloudflare configuration. This will allow us to take full advantage of their many DNS features, increased speed, Railgun options, and other amazing features that full domain integration allows. 

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WHM Tutorial: DNS Tools and Functions

Reading Time: 3 minutesIf you have a VPS server or Dedicated server running cPanel, and your server is also running private nameservers, you will find the Web Host Manager’s (WHM’s) interface very useful when it comes to updating, creating, or removing DNS zone files for your domains.

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DNS: An Overview

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What is DNS?

The Domain Name Service (or DNS) is the key to the presence of your server on the internet. You are probably aware your domain has an “IP” address, which stands for Internet Protocol; that number is your domain’s literal web address on the internet. A typical IP address is a series of four numbers called octets that are identified like so: 10.10.10.10.  You can think of your IP address as being similar to a postal address. The IP address is the exact location where your domain lives. I usually explain it like this;

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What’s My DNS?

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What is DNS?

If you are new to web hosting, you may have heard the term DNS, but you might not be sure what it means or how it is essential to you. DNS is short for Domain Name System, and it is the process by which the whole Internet organizes and easier way for humans to reach websites.

Numbers or IP addresses identify all of the computers/websites connected to the Internet. While computers have no trouble identifying each other using these strings of numbers, it would be challenging for humans if we had to remember a set of numbers for every website we wanted to visit! Fortunately, DNS translates domain names like liquidweb.com to an IP address and back, so all we need to know to find a website is the name. For a more in-depth discussion of the DNS system, see Understanding the DNS Process.

You can use the DNS Tree for a quick, visual comparison of the records that exist on all of your nameservers. Making sure your records match across nameservers and that they match your server is an essential part of troubleshooting possible website issues. If you’re error messages like “This site can’t be reached” or “webpage is not available”, the DNS Tree may help you figure out where the problem exists.

 

How Do I Check My DNS?

Verifying accurate DNS records is essential for navigating traffic to the correct web server. You can use Liquid Web’s Internet Webhosting Toolkit to view your current, authoritative DNS records. Just go to the toolkit’s site, click on the DNS Tree tab, enter your domain name, and click Submit.

lw dns tree

Note
Our servers will query your domain’s nameservers for the most common DNS record types. If a domain is not registered or if no DNS records exist for the domain, you’ll receive an error message indicating that the records are not available. This may suggest that your nameservers are unavailable for some reason, especially if you are hosting those nameservers on a private server.

domain lookup error

If you have registered your domain and set DNS records our tool will display the results in an easy to see “tree” of records, organized from most general to most specific.

lw dns tree detail

In our example, we are looking up the records for liquidweb.com, so the tree begins with that domain at the far left of the screen.

lw dns tree domain

The next set of records displayed are the Authoritative Nameservers for the domain. These are the servers designated as the holders of the records for this domain. If you want to change the records for this domain, you must change them on these servers. Changing records anywhere else won’t make reflect DNS changes. Your domain can have one, two, or as many Authoritative Nameservers as you would like but most websites use at least two for redundancy and stability.

lw dns tree nameservers

 

The next set of entries in the DNS Tree show the Types of records that are available. DNS record types are unique for each kind of DNS function.

  • An “A Record” is used to identify primary IP addresses of given domains.
  • MX Records” are used for email routing and delivery.
  • TXT records” hold additional information about the domain, like SSL validations, DKIM entries, or SPF records.

For more information about DNS record types, see DNS Record Types.

lw dns tree record types

The final “column” of entries displays the actual DNS record. This is typically an IP address for an “A record”, and domain name for an “MX record”, or a string of text for a “TXT record”. Hovering the mouse over a circle will display all of the information for the record in a pop-out window, including the TTL, Type, and Data.

dns tree recordsdns tree popout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve made recent changes to your DNS records, the toolkit may be showing an older, or cached, version of the records. The TTL portion of the record indicates how frequently the DNS system should update its records. TTL is shown in seconds, so a typical setting of 3600 means that servers will be asked to update your records every 6 minutes.

The delay that occurs during this period is referred to as propagation. Some DNS changes, like nameserver changes, can take up to 72 hours to propagate, so if you are going to be making changes to your DNS records, you’ll want to lower your TTL values for a quick update. For more information on reducing your TTLs, see How To: Lowering Your DNS TTLs.

If you need additional help, Liquid Web customer’s can contact the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting via ticket, chat, or phone (1-800-580-4985) at any time and we’ll do our best to make sure everything is working correctly.

 

What is Power DNS?

Reading Time: 2 minutesPowerDNS (pdns) is an open source authoritative DNS server that works as an alternative to traditional BIND (named) DNS. PowerDNS offers better performance and has minimal memory requirements. PowerDNS also works with many supporting backends ranging from simple zone files to complex database setups as well as various SQL platforms (Mysql, MariaDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL). Continue reading “What is Power DNS?”

Editing DNS Zone Files in WHM/cPanel

Reading Time: 4 minutesWhen using custom name servers, it is essential to update the DNS in cPanel/WHM, doing so, is a component of hosting your own DNS. Continue reading “Editing DNS Zone Files in WHM/cPanel”