DNS A Record

The DNS A record points to the IP address for a given domain name.

DNS A Record

Learning Objectives

After reading this article you will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of an A record.

What is a DNS A record?

The ‘A’ stands for ‘address’ and this is the most fundamental type of DNS record, it indicates the IP address of a given domain. For example if you pull the DNS records of google.com, the ‘A’ record currently returns an IP address of: 172.217.5.78. ‘A’ records only hold Ipv4 addresses, if the site has a Ipv6 address, it will instead use an ‘AAAA’ record.

Example of an A record:

example.com record type: value: TTL
@ A 12.34.56.78 14400

The ‘@’ here indicates that this is a record for the root domain, and the ‘14400’ value is the TTL (Time To Live), listed in seconds. The default TTL for A records is 14400 seconds. This means that if an A record gets updated, it takes 240 minutes (14400 seconds) to take effect.

The vast majority of websites only have one A record, but it’s possible to have several. Some higher profile websites will have several different A records as part of a technique called round robin load balancing, which can distribute request traffic to one of several IP addresses, each hosting identical content.