The Best Tech Tips

Most frequently used DNS commands.

These DNS commands are the most commonly used when we are talking about DNS troubleshooting. This is because they are easy to use and can provide you information about your DNS records and how your network is operating. It doesn’t matter if you are a Linux, Windows, or macOS user. You have multiple commands included in your OS. So let’s see which are the most frequently practiced DNS commands and how you can use them.

NSLookup command

The NSLookup command is one of the frequently used DNS diagnostic commands. The beneficial thing about it is that it is present on all of the popular operating systems (OS). With it, you are able to see all kinds of DNS records. Also, it includes various options.

Use the NSLookup to see all the available DNS records. In the command line, write: 

$ nslookup -type=any domain.com

It is going to show you all of the available DNS records for the particular domain. If you want to see a specific DNS record, change the type to NS, A, AAAA, MX, SOA, etc. After the DNS type, you can put another domain name or IP address.

Dig command

Dig command is already built-in on macOS. For Linux and Windows, you can easily install the command. It is a very useful DNS diagnostic tool. This command can show you all types of DNS records. Also, you can probe your nameservers, traceroute both IPv4 and IPv6, or check a specific port. Troubleshooting with the Dig command is quick and simple. 

If you want to see all the available information about a domain, in the command line, write:

$ dig domain.com any 

You can simply replace the domain name with another one or an IP address. The Dig command is excellent because it provides complete information about the query you requested. If you want to receive a more specific result, you can use the many options that the Dig command has.

Host command

The functionality of the Host commands is very similar to the Dig command. So, with it, you can also see the available DNS records and apply it for DNS troubleshooting. Also, check an IP address or domain name, perform reverse lookup or see the domain’s nameservers or modify the DNS queries with several options. On Linux, the Host command is also built-in, like the Dig command. So, you are free to choose which one you want to use.

If you want to see all the available information about a domain, in the command line, write:

$ host -a example.com

Google Admin Toolbox Dig

An excellent solution for DNS troubleshooting is also an online tool. For example, there is an online version of the Dig command from Google. You can easily check various types of records, such as A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, PTR, etc. There you can perform DNS lookup by only inserting a domain name you wish to view.

Conclusion.

Use the suggested tools whenever you want to. For sure, they are capable of providing you the information you need.

Fundamental DNS records you should know.

DNS records explained.

DNS records set specific rules in a DNS zone. They are entirely made of text, which makes them very light. Zone files are the place where the various types of DNS records are stored.

Every time when a user makes a request, the DNS servers are searching for a particular DNS record type. As a result, there are many different records for the various kinds of requests that could be made. So, let’s make things a little bit more precise and explain some of the most fundamental DNS records.

A record

When we are talking about DNS, the first record that we should mention is the A record. Its purpose is very important and is at the foundation of DNS. The A record points a domain name/hostname to the corresponding IP address. So, for example, when a user makes a request to visit a website, it would typically type the website’s domain name. However, to find it, the user needs its IP address. To get it, the browser will search from one DNS server to another. So, in the end, it will receive the A record capable of resolving the query. The browser will know where exactly the website is and is going to load it.

SOA record

SOA stands for the start of authority record. Its purpose is to show the primary DNS server – the authoritative name server. This record also holds essential information for the DNS zone, also for the normal functionality of the DNS network, it is a necessity. Within the data inside can be found, also who is the administrator responsible for it, how frequently the DNS server has to refresh, and more.

MX record

This record is also known as the mail eXchanger record. The purpose of it is also very important, especially when you want to have accurate email correspondence. It displays the server or servers accountable for receiving emails for the domain. In case you don’t have such a DNS record, the email correspondence is going to be challenging. The sending servers won’t know to who they should send messages. As a result, you are not going to receive emails. 

PTR record

Domain owners sometimes neglect this DNS record, but for sending emails without any problems is a necessity. The PTR record is also known as a pointer record. Its purpose is the opposite of the A record, and it is required for Reverse DNS. The main function is to point an IP address to a domain name. Its common use is for sending emails. The receivers need to verify that the email was sent from the actual domain, not from somebody else. If the A and PTR records are not configured correctly, your emails will end in the spam folder. Also, it is able to operate with both IPv4 addresses and with IPv6 addresses. 

CNAME record

The CNAME record is showing which is the actual, canonical domain name for the domain/subdomain you want to visit. This DNS record is essential to know when we are speaking for subdomains. Creating a CNAME for each of them and pointing them to the domain name makes administrating more simple. You don’t have to modify any further DNS records for every subdomain. For example, if you make changes, for example.com, there is no need to update these changes for subdomain.example.com. For you, DNS management will be much easier.