DNS Glossary: Rackspace Email


Technology has managed to become an integral part of our daily lives and plays a significant role on our day to day activities. Some of us, however, may come across words like DNS, A Records, MX Records etc, and may not have a clear understanding of what these words define. We've prepared a document for you that will give you better understanding of tech-terminology. Let's take a look.

The Basics:

IP Address
An IP address or Internet Protocol address is a set of numerical numbers that are assigned to any device that is participating in the world wide web. The same way a car or motorcycle being driven on the highway needs an assigned license plate, a computer, website or game console connected to the Internet needs an IP address.

Domain Name
Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses that are connected to the world wide web. For example, rackspace.com is a domain name that represents an IP address of 173.203.44.122.

DNS
DNS stands for Domain Name Services. DNS translates a domain name such as rackspace.com into an IP address into a language for machines to identify.

DNS Record Types:

A Record
An A record is a DNS record that can be used to point your domain name and host names to an IP address. For example, the A Record for rackspace.com is 173.203.44.122

CNAME
A CNAME is an alias that points to another hostname. For example: autodiscover.mailtrust.com would actually point to autodiscover.emailsrvr.com

MX Record
An MX or Mail Exchange record directs all incoming email sent to any address on your domain to a specific server that allows you to retrieve them. For example, If your email is hosted through Rackspace you will have a set of MX records that point to mx1.emailsrvr.com (10) and mx2.emailsrvr.com (20)

SPF Record
A Sender Policy Framework record or SPF record is a system designed in order to combat and reduce the amount spam that is sent to your domain. For Example, you may set up an SPF record to only receive mail from a certain domain after the SPF record has verified the sender's IP address.

TXT Record
A text record that is used to store any type of generic text information about a specific domain. Generally, a TXT record is used to store SPF records.

URL Redirect
A URL redirect is a forward of one or more URL's that points to one significant URL. For example, some businesses have purchased multiple domain names in case of a user misspelling like seperate.com, separete.com, or seperat.com that ultimately point to the correct spelling of the domain separate.com through a URL redirect.

Hostnames:

@ (no subdomain)
This record is used when someone types your domain into a browser without the "www" portion. For example, rackspace.com

www (no subdomain)
This record is used when someone types your domain into a browser with the "www" portion included. For example, www.rackspace.com

* (anything)
This record acts as a wild card entry when someone types your domain into their browser. For example, someone could type a subdomain that may not exist like help.kcexample.com and this feature would redirect them to kcexample.com.



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