DNS Records Cheat Sheet


DNS (Domain Name System) records can be quite confusing. They all do their own things and are helpful in so many ways. So, we built this DNS Records Cheat Sheet so you can easily understand what each DNS Record does and why they are important.

What is a DNS record?
A DNS record is where DNS servers create a record that provides important information about a domain, specifically the current IP address.

DNS Records do many different things. They all work together to tell the Recursive DNS Server particular details and information about a domain, including the IP address of where it lives, email server information, redirects, and much more.

The most common DNS Records are the following:

Record Type Description
A Record  This maps your hostname to an IPv4 address.
AAAA Record Similar to an A Record, but this allows you to point to an IPv6 address
NS Record (Name Server) An NS record or (name server record) tells recursive name servers which name servers are authoritative for a zone.  Recursive name servers look at the NS records to work out who to ask next when resolving a name.
CNAME Record (Canonical Name) The target host is a hostname that the host you are creating resolves to. This host must be an actual hostname that resolves to an IP address.
MX Record (Mail Exchange) Directs email to a mail server
TXT Record (Text) Text records are used to describe a host or a DNS entry. You can enter anything you want as long as it is 255 characters or less.  
SRV Record (Service Record) An SRV record describes services offered by a host. It defines the location of a server (port number and hostname).  They are commonly used in SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and XMPP Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol protocols.
SOA Record (Start of Authority) The SOA resource record is an essential part of the DNS zone file, it indicates the basic properties of the domain name server and the zone that the domain is in. Each zone file can contain only one SOA record. At No-IP, we build this record automatically by pulling from email, TTLs (Time to Live), and NS (Name Server) settings.
PTR (Pointer Record) Provides the domain name associated with an IP address. This record is the exact opposite of an A Record.
CAA Record (Certification Authority Authorization) This record is a way for you as a domain owner to make it known to everyone which certificate authorities can issue SSL/TLS certificates for your domain.
Round Robin This maps your hostname to multiple IP address. Only used for DNS based load balancing (not common).

The Importance of DNS Diversification

dns diversification

The lack of DNS diversification is a serious problem that has been brewing since the inception of the Internet. A few years ago, we saw what happened (October 21, 2016) when a major DNS provider went down and took half of the Internet with it, including major companies like Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb, and even Reddit.

Do you know how much a Managed DNS outage would cost your business? According to Gartner, 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000. 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. 33% of those enterprises reported that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1-5 million. Can your company afford downtime? The answer is probably NO.

Let’s Start at the Beginning Though, What Exactly is DNS?

Understanding the above is essential. However, it makes no sense if one does not realize what DNS is in the first place. Broken down, DNS stands for the Domain Name System. It can easily be referred to as the phonebook of the Internet. As an Internet user, you usually access websites through domain names such as noip.com, facebook.com, or reddit.com, and so on. Your web browser interacts with the Internet through an Internet Protocol (IP) address, and this is where DNS comes in.

DNS translates domain names into IP addresses that can then be read by browsers on the computer, thereby allowing the loading of Internet resources. Typically, every device that is connected to the Internet has a unique IP address. This address is used to identify the device and track the activities on the device. DNS servers help to remove the need to memorize IP addresses, thereby allowing for a smooth and efficient user experience.

How Does DNS Work?

When you type www.noip.com into your browser, your device’s recursive DNS server checks to see if it knows what IP address www.noip.com resolves to. If you are going to this website for the first time, it will not know the IP address and it will have to do a lookup to see who controls www.noip.com. The lookup will show No-IP as the authoritative DNS provider with the name server of ns1.no-ip.com. Your device’s recursive DNS server will then ask ns1.no-ip.com what IP address does www.noip.com resolve to. Then, ns1.no-ip.com will respond and return that the IP address is

Your recursive DNS server will now remember this for a pre-defined amount of time,  this is known as cache. Now, anytime you go to www.noip.com within the cache period (typically 30 days), it will remember the IP address it remembered without having to ask again for the IP address again.

Managed DNS Services

With Managed DNS, you can be assured your customers will reach your website by utilizing the Managed DNS authoritative DNS servers that store your DNS records, all while providing DNS resolutions in the background. This allows your customers to reach your website, quickly and efficiently.

If your customer does not have the IP address stored in its’ computers cache, the operating system of the computer will kick off a recursive search to find the IP address for the domain that the user is trying to fetch.

This search often ends at an authoritative server, which then provides the “authoritative” answer to the user’s query. With Managed DNS, these authoritative servers are run on behalf of the customers.

No-IP Plus Managed DNS allows your website to perform optimally, because our network infrastructure is backed by a redundant Anycast network that spans the globe with over 200 points of presence. More importantly, with Plus Managed DNS, you will no longer have to set up and build a redundant and resilient infrastructure on your own. With No-IP’s Plus Managed DNS, your website will always be available, and all of your client requests will always be answered.

No-IP Plus Managed DNS is just $29.95 a year. This includes our award-winning Customer Support, SSL upgrades, up to 50 hostnames, and a 100% Uptime Guarantee.

DNS Diversification
Now that we have explained Managed DNS and the benefits associated with a Managed DNS services, it is only fair that we finally get to the point and talk about DNS Diversification. As a business, it is always the safest bet to diversify your services, including your DNS services.

This means that if you have one provider who handles your web hosting, you should have a different one managing your DNS and one for your email. That way, you will have a fail-safe therefore avoiding a single point of failure. Whenever possible, you should have backup solutions in place. When it comes to the end-user, the use of redundant systems will help ensure that if one system is down, the entire customer experience is not compromised.

Remember the issue we highlighted with the DNS provider outage above? Well, if those impacted companies had embraced DNS diversification, they would not have had a single point of failure. If they had a secondary DNS provider in their records, their DNS would have kept resolving and their customers would have never noticed a problem. But since they did not have a secondary DNS provider defined,  once their primary DNS service was down, their entire website was down.

No-IP  offers a vey simply and affordable solution to this problem. Squared Backup DNS is our secondary DNS service that allows you to easily get a secondary DNS configuration on your domain. You simply provide your primary DNS provider with our authoritative master DNS servers IP address then, you allow zone transfers and automatic updates to our server. Once this is completed, you update the name servers at your domain’s registrar to also include No-IP’s name servers and you are DONE. Moving forward, any changes you make at your primary DNS provider will automatically be sent to No-IP’s name servers. By doing this, you have now increased your website’s DNS redundancy which is backed by your primary DNS provider and also backed by No-IP’s redundant and robust Anycast DNS network.

It may seem complicated, but you essentially just have your main DNS provider and a backup DNS provider. If you are familiar with NS Records, this is how the configuration would look:

Example of a Diversified Zone File:


In the example above, if the first NS record, ns1.otherdns.com happens to go down, it will still resolve because the zone file includes another DNS provider (in this example, No-IP is the Secondary DNS provider) and is located in the 4th and 5th name server records.

As mentioned earlier, it is the 21st century, an era where having a website is of the utmost importance. You do not want to have downtime, ever, as it can make all the difference between earning a customer and losing them for good.

If you are looking for a primary managed DNS provider, No-IP Plus Managed DNS is backed by a robust infrastructure that comes with a 100% uptime guarantee. We recommend finding a secondary DNS provider for peace of mind that your customers will always be able to access your website.

If you already have a primary DNS provider, No-IP Squared Backup DNS is a great Secondary DNS solution that will diversify your DNS and leverage No-IP’s robust and redundant Anycast network.

How Do You No-IP?

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Want a chance to be featured on the No-IP website?

We are always so intrigued by the unique ways people use No-IP and we want to hear from you! Do you run your own video game server? Do you have your Robot running off a Raspberry Pi remotely accessible using No-IP? Are you using us to remotely monitor your IP camera, or do we help you work from home? Just tell us how you are using No-IP and you could win a $50 No-IP credit and a feature on our website!

Why Offer Customer Support If No One Ever Answers?


Oh, technology, how I loathe you sometimes… I spent the morning on hold for over an hour. When the representative finally answered, I was quickly redirected to another department and then my worst nightmare, I WAS DISCONNECTED. We have all been there, right?

Long story short, this made me think about No-IP and the amazing Customer Support that we have offered for over 20 years. Support Tickets are answered in a very timely fashion, and phone calls? A really helpful person answers them in record time! We NEVER outsource our Customer Support and all of our team lives here locally in Reno, NV.

We offer extensive on-the-job training to make sure all of our agents are qualified to answer your questions and solve your technical issues. We pride ourselves on our customer satisfaction rating exceeding 90%.

There is no need to jump through hoops and over hurdles. What we offer is real-life, amazingly good Customer Support. We also have an extensive Knowledge Base that is easily searchable for all your self-help needs. Just another reason why choosing No-IP for your Dynamic DNS, Managed DNS, or other services is a great choice.

Have you had a great experience with our Customer Support Team? Leave a comment below to give them a shoutout!

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No-IP Partners with TrustCor SSL Certificates

No-iP Announces Partnership with TrustCor SSL Certificates

We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with TrustCor to offer a new SSL Certification to our customers. The TrustCor Premium DV SSL Certificate allows you even more security and flexibility for your domain and hostnames.

TrustCor SSLs makes it easy and more cost-effective than ever to add an SSL Certificate to your Hostname. This is a perfect solution for someone looking for an inexpensive way to add an SSL Certificate to a few hostnames. Our new partnership brings expanded possibilities for SSL certification.

New Features:

Easily validate your Domain via TXT record validation
- Very rapid time to issue and validate (typically within 20 minutes)
- We auto-generate your SSL Certificate for you if your DNS is managed with us

All TrustCor DV SSL certificates offer the strongest SSL encryption using SHA-2 algorithms and either 2048-bit or 4096-bit RSA keys.

Who is TrustCor?

TrustCor is globally trusted for internet security and compliance and founded in one of the most strict and protective privacy jurisdictions in the world. We are dedicated to protecting the privacy and providing the highest level of security in our products and services for businesses and individuals worldwide. Using our privacy and security suite, digital certificates, global infrastructure, geo-jurisdiction advantage, and extensive expertise will protect your digital footprint.

TrustCor DV Certificates secure a single domain with strong encryption. It is issued within minutes, helping you develop and launch a secure website quickly. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to secure your website.

Not sure the TrustCor SSL Certificate is right for you? Don’t worry, we also offer a TrustCor Premium Wildcard and GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium for those looking for securing unlimited sub-domains (Wildcard) or an SSL with a high-level warranty.

Ready to add an SSL certificate to your website or hostname? Get started today.