What is DNS “A” Record and How to Add an “A” Record to DNS?

Today, we’re discussing DNS A records. But before we get into it: What is a DNS record? DNS records are a set of instructions on the DNS servers that provide information about a domain’s IP address and how to handle DNS lookup queries. There are various types of DNS records, including:

 Each type of DNS record serves a specific purpose. 

In this article, we’ll focus on one fundamental type—the DNS A record. Read on to find out what a DNS A record is, and how to add, edit, and delete an A record on your DNS server.

What is a DNS “A” Record?

A DNS A record is the most fundamental type of DNS record. The A stands for “Address,” and it’s used to point a domain name to an IP address or host. You can only use an A record when you want to point to an IPv4 address. An AAAA record is required if you wish to direct your domain to an IPv6 address. 

The DNS A record points a domain name like google.com to the IP address of itsDNS hosting server, in this case, “74.125.224.147.” While most sites have a single A DNS record, it’s possible to have multiple records. 

Another vital aspect of a DNS A record is that you can use it (often with a CNAME record) to create a subdomain that also points to the same IP address, for instance, blog.example.com.

When are “A” Records Used?

The most common usage of a DNS A record is during IP address lookup, which helps retrieve information related to an IP address. This data is used to match a domain name to an IPv4 address, which allows a user’s device to connect with and load a website.

An A record in DNS makes it easy for humans to visit websites without memorizing their actual IP addresses. So you can easily type easydmarc.com in your web browser, and it automatically takes you to the site.

Create an “A” Record

Once you have a website and a domain name, you need to create a DNSn A record to link them together. Creating an A record is pretty straightforward. Your domain provider like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, etc. typically provides specific instructions on how to add a DNS A record for your website.

Here’s an example of how the process generally works:

  • First, you need to sign in to your domain controller panel.
  • Hit the “DNS settings,” often found in the Advanced settings section.
  • Go to “DNS records.”
  • Find the “Create new record” option, and click on “A record” to indicate the record you want to create. 
  • You’ll generally need to input the following information:
  1. Hostname  – This is the name for the DNS A record. You can input @, leave it blank, or enter a subdomain.
  2. IP Address – This is where you want the record to point. Remember, it has to be an IPv4 address.
  3. TTL – This is optional. If you leave it blank, it uses the default time of 36000 seconds. 
  4. Hit the “Create Record” button to save your new DNS A record

While precise steps vary depending on your domain provider, creating an A record is similar across all of them.

Edit an Existing “A” Record

For the most part, you don’t need to do much with your DNS A record. Once your website is active, the settings remain the same. But there are certain situations where you might need to change or edit your A record, such as:

  • When you change your web server
  • If you change to another DNS provider or plan
  • When you move your website to a private server

Editing your existing A record requires a few steps, typically as follows:

  • Sign in to your DNS controller panel.
  • Select theDomain Settings page.
  • Choose “Manage DNS” to access your DNS zone file.
  • Select “Edit”  next to the A record you wish to modify.
  • Edit  either the hostname, IP address, or TTL (“Time to Live”) to suit your changes:
  • Click “Save to finalize your changes.

While most A record changes are effective within an hour, it can take more than 48 hours to update across all DNS servers. 

Editing your DNS A record requires similar steps across all DNS providers.

Delete an “A” Record

If a DNS A record is no longer needed, it should be deleted. Deleting an A record will remove it permanently from your DNS zone files. The steps below outline the typical process: 

  • Sign in to your DNS controller panel.
  • Go to your  Domain Settings page.
  • Choose “Manage DNS to access your DNS zone file.
  • Select “Delete next to the A record you wish to remove. You can usually delete multiple A records at once. 
  • Confirm the process by selecting “Remove from” or “Confirm,” etc.

Summary

A DNS A record is one of the essential DNS records that connect your domain name to its IP address. It’s vital for your website to function properly.

We recommend that you follow the steps highlighted in this article to create, modify, and remove unwanted A records from your DNS server. This helps prevent DNS spoofing and keeps your website up and running. 

If you want to know how to check all DNS records of a domain, you can use our DNS Records Lookup tool. Check out our other blogs for more in-depth information on the various DNS record types, too.- it’s the same process for all DNS providers.

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