DNS record definition
Database entries stored in DNS servers with information on specific domains, such as their IP addresses or instructions on how to handle related DNS queries. DNS records are essential for translating human-friendly URLs to connection instructions for the user’s devices.
Devices store DNS records retrieved from DNS servers in their cache to avoid repeat DNS requests. Over time, this poses security and privacy risks — anyone with access to your DNS cache can see your online activity or redirect you to dangerous websites (DNS spoofing). For this reason, it is important to regularly flush your DNS cache.
Common types of DNS records
- A: the IPv4 address of a given domain
- AAAA: the IPv6 address of a given domain
- CNAME: instructions to forward one domain to another domain
- MX: instructions to forward mail to the email server
- NS: the name server for a DNS entry
- SRV: instructions to let a specific device use a particular port
- PTR: the domain name (for reverse lookups)