What are DNS: DNS Guide from WaoPress
What are DNS?
DNS stands for “Domain Name System”. It sounds very technical, but it is actually quite simple. It is a way for your browser (e.g. Firefox or Chrome) or your email client (e.g. Outlook or Mac Mail) to find websites and services on the Internet.
Computers love numbers, but humans love names. It is much easier for you to keep someone in your iPhone address book as John Doe instead of his number 07999333456. DNS is nothing more than the Internet version of this.
You’ve probably heard of IP addresses, which are those things you see from time to time like 192.168.100.2 or 22.214.171.124.4. These are the “phone numbers” of the Internet, and you’ve probably seen a Web or e-mail address: www.google.com or email@example.com. DNS is the “phone book” of the Internet, linking Web and e-mail domain names to the actual IP addresses of Internet servers.
Which DNS can I manage in WaoPress?
If you register (or transfer) your domains at WaoPress, we will take care of all the DNS you need for your Web and email. If for some reason you need to “get your hands dirty” and add, modify or delete a DNS record, you can also do that with the 20i control panel.
There are many types of DNS records, but not all of them are relevant to hosting. Below is an explanation of each type of registration that you can manage for your WaoPress domains.
A records allow you to point a DNS name (e.g., waopress.com) to one or more IPv4 addresses. These are the most common types of records you will see. The DNS name “waopress.com” is an A record and points to 126.96.36.199 which is an IPv4 address. Google has “www.google.com”, which is an A record pointing to “188.8.131.52” (IPv4) and “2a00:1450:4009:800::2004” (IPv6) respectively.
An AAAA Record (quad A Record) is another type of DNS Record that points a domain or subdomain to an IPv6 address, so that when someone types that domain or subdomain into the address bar, the browser knows where to go.
The AAAA Record is somewhat similar to the A Record, but allows you to specify the IPv6 address of the server, instead of the IPv4 address. IPv6 addresses are four times larger than IPv4 addresses and contain 8 sets of numbers and letters ranging from 0000 to FFFF.
For example the DNS name “waopress.com” is an AAAA record and points to 2a07:7800::145 which is an IPv6 address. Google has “www.google.com”, AAAA pointing to “2a00:1450:4009:800::2004” (IPv6).
In addition, IPv6 also has many other features, such as protocol improvements for security and more efficient routing of traffic.
It stands for “canonical name” and you can only have one of them per name in a DNS zone (DNS zone basically means the domain name).
A CNAME record does not point to an IP address, but points to another DNS name. It is a convenient way to point multiple names to one place, and thus manage only one set of IP addresses.
An example CNAME is ‘p.lafabri.link’ pointing to ‘cname.decktopus.com’ which in turn is an A record pointing to “184.108.40.206”. This means that you can change the IPv4 address of just ‘cname.decktopus.com’ and you will have effectively changed the address of ‘p.lafabri.link’ as well – very handy!
MX stands for “mail exchanger”. Tells a “sending” mail server how to find the “receiving” mail server, in order of priority, with lower numbers having higher priority.
TXT (or text) records are not usually used to locate servers on the Internet, but to prove to external systems that the domain is yours, or that mail from certain hosts can come from that domain (they are called SPF records). It is very unlikely that you will need to manually create a TXT record, but we offer you the flexibility just in case.
SRV (or service) records are similar to A (and CNAME and MX) records in that they are used to look up the IP addresses of servers on the Internet, but also include port and protocol information. It is very unlikely that you will need to modify them for your hosting at WaoPress, but we offer you the possibility to do so in case you want to operate your own external services under your domains hosted at WaoPress.