Domain DNS Lookup - Lookup and check DNS settings on your domain name.
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Domain DNS Lookup - Lookup and check DNS settings on your domain name.
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Free Domain DNS Details Lookup

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What is a Domain DNS Lookup?

Setting Up a Website at your Domain

DNS (Domain Name System) is a system which provides easy addressing for servers on the internet. For example, if you were to visit the Freeola website, your computer would use DNS to find the address of the freeola.com server where the website is held. This address would then be used to connect to Freeola's web server and download the web page that you had requested. If DNS wasn't used, you would need to remember the IP address of each website you wanted to visit, for example, to visit freeola.com, you would need to remember 93.173.140.78 each time you visited.

This Domain DNS Lookup tool runs several checks on the DNS records in place for your domain name and provides feedback from these. This can help with diagnosing problems with the DNS settings on your domain, or ensuring that DNS records have been set correctly.

If you have your domain name hosted with Freeola, you are able to manage many DNS records online from within your MyFreeola account. Freeola also have several domain related guides available in the Freeola Knowledge Base.

Alternatively, if your domain name is not registered with Freeola and GetDotted, you are able to transfer your domain name in for full and easy DNS control.

To check the DNS records on your domain name, just enter your domain name into the box above and click 'Check'. Otherwise, see below for more detailed information on the types of checks that are run and what they can be used for.


What checks are run during a DNS Lookup?

Setting Up a Website at your Domain

Parent Nameserver Checks
The parent nameservers are the nameservers of the provider of the domain name type that you are using. These nameservers should provide details of the current nameservers in place for your domain name which are then used for looking up DNS records for your domain.

Results for the parent nameservers checks can be found on the 'Parent' tab of the results page.

Nameserver Checks
The nameservers on your domain name are the servers that provide all of the DNS information in relation to your domain name. The NS records on your nameservers should be the same as those provided from the parent.

Several checks are run against the nameservers in place on your domain name. These are to ensure the consistency of the records returned from the parent and your nameservers, to make sure that all records are correct and that records are optimised.

Results for the nameserver checks can be found on the 'NS' tab.

MX Record Checks
The MX records on your domain name are used for email purposes and tell sending email providers where to direct email for your domain. Checks are run against the MX records on your domain name to ensure that they are valid and consistent. A test is also run to ensure that there are reverse DNS (PTR) records in place for the IP addresses provided with your MX servers. As part of the MX server check, you are able to view the SPF record in place on your domain name if you have one.

Results for the MX record checks can be found on the 'MX' tab of the results page.

Web DNS Record Checks
Web DNS records are the records on your domain name that are used for displaying a website. There are two main types of records that are used for this, these are A Records and CNAME records. A Records are IP addresses that point directly to a webserver. CNAME records are hostnames, which when looked up should return an A record for a web server (or another CNAME). Checks are run against the records that you have in place to enable you to ensure that there are no issues with these.

Recently IPv6 AAAA records have started to be used for websites and are planned to be the successor to the current IPv4 system. You are able to check that IPv6 AAAA records are in place on your domain name and that they are providing the correct information.

Results for the web DNS checks can be found on the 'Web' tab of the results page.

Custom DNS Record Lookups
There are many other DNS records that you may wish to lookup, for example TXT, SRV and SOA records. To enable you to lookup these DNS records, you are able to run custom queries against your domain name for them. You are also able to run checks against different aliases which can help to ensure that any subdomains are in place as required.

Custom DNS checks can run from the 'Custom' tab of the results page.

Domain DNS Glossary

A Record - (Address Record)

Type of DNS Record

An A record is used to hold the IP address (location) of a server. In terms of a website, this could be the web server, or for email, this could be the address of the mail server. An example of an A record is:

freeola.com [93.174.140.47] [TTL: 3600]

Freeola.com is the hostname that was looked up. The IP address (93.174.140.47) is the location of the server. In the case of freeola.com, this IP address can then be used to connect to the web server and view the website.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change A Records from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. If you are looking to change the A Record on your domain name itself, or with the www alias, you will need to select 'Create/Modify Custom Web DNS Records' and follow the on screen instructions. Otherwise, if you were looking to change the A record on another alias, you would need to select 'Create/Modify Subdomains' instead.

AAAA Record - (IPv6 Address Record)

Type of DNS Record

An AAAA record is the IPv6 equivalent of an A record which returns an IPv6 address as opposed to an IPv4 address. As IPv6 is planned to replace IPv4, these records are becoming less rare, however IPv4 is much more commonly used, especially for web purposes.

Given that IPv6 is backwards compatible with IPv4, and the majority of Internet users are using IPv4, there should be no issues with only having IPv4 A Records in place for the foreseeable future.

CNAME Record - (Canonical Name Record)

Type of DNS Record

A CNAME record just holds two host names, the one that is looked up and the one that it points to. These are generally used to point many different host names to a single A record. If the IP address of the server then changes, only one A record needs to be updated. If CNAME records are not used and an A record is assigned to each different hostname, if the server IP changes, every A record needs to be updated with the new IP address.

The downside of using CNAME records is, it means more lookups are required to find the final IP address for a hostname. An example of a CNAME is as follows:

www.freeola.com [mail.freeola.com] [TTL: 86400]

If this record was in place, if a lookup was run for www.freeola.com, this record would advise to lookup mail.freeola.com. A further A record lookup would then be required on mail.freeola.com to find the address of the server.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change CNAME Records from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. If you are looking to change the CNAME on your domain name with the www alias, you will need to select 'Create/Modify Custom Web DNS Records' and follow the on screen instructions. Otherwise, if you were looking to change or create other CNAME records, you would need to select 'Create/Modify Subdomains' instead.

DNS Record - (Domain Name System Record)

DNS Records are the individual rows of information that are stored on a nameserver and passed back during a lookup. There are several different types of DNS records which can be passed back depending on the type of lookup that has been run. Common examples of DNS records are A Records, MX Records and NS Records.

Glue Record

Type of DNS Record

When some record types are provided by a DNS server, there are situations where the records returned may not provide all the information required to connect to the end server, resulting in further nslookups being required. To reduce this, it is possible for the DNS server to attach additional records to the result. These additional records are glue records.

One example of when glue records can be used is with MX records. MX records are often hostnames and do not include IP addresses. To reduce the number of lookups required, some DNS servers are configured to attach the MX server IP addresses as additional glue records with the initial response.

Glue records are only required when the nameservers for a domain name use the domain name itself, for example, a nameserver for freeola.net is ns3.freeola.net. To lookup the IP address for ns3.freeola.net, you would need to lookup the nameservers for freeola.net, as ns3.freeola.net is one of these nameservers, you would end up in a continuous loop. To prevent this, when the nameservers for freeola.net are requested, the IP addresses are also sent as glue records.

In other situations, glue records are optional and it is generally not an issue if glue records are not in place. If you have a domain name registered with Freeola and you would like to create glue records for nameservers which will use your domain name, please contact our support team who should be able to help you with this.

MX Record - (Mail Exchanger Record)

Type of DNS Record

MX records hold the location of mail exchanger servers for a domain name. If an email is sent to an email address using a domain name, the MX records are looked up for that domain name to find out where to pass the message on to. An example of an MX record is as follows:

freeola.co.uk mx4.freeola.com [TTL: 3600]

This record just shows mx4.freeola.com as a mail exchanger server for freeola.co.uk. To then connect to the server, a further A record lookup for mx4.freeola.com is required to find the server IP address. In some cases the IP address is provided with the MX record details which makes it a glue record.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change MX Records from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. To change your MX records, you will need to select 'Create/Modify MX Records' and follow the on screen instructions.

Nameserver Record- (NS Record)

Type of DNS Record

An NS (Nameserver) record holds the hostname of a nameserver. This is a server which holds DNS records specific to the domain name. An example of a nameserver record is: freeola.com ns3.freeola.net

The first part (freeola.com) is the domain name that was looked up. ns3.freeola.net is the host name of the nameserver which then can be used to lookup further records for this domain name.

To find the IP address (location) of the nameserver itself, an A Record lookup for ns3.freeola.net would be required. In some cases, the IP address is automatically provided with the nameserver records. This is called a glue record and reduces the number of lookups required to connect to the nameserver.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change the DNS records on your domain name from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. To change your DNS records, you will need to select 'Change DNS Servers' and follow the on screen instructions.

PTR Record - (Reverse DNS Record, Pointer Record)

Type of DNS Record

PTR records allow you to make it possible to find a hostname from an IP address. For example if you were to run a reverse DNS lookup on 93.173.140.78, you would be given the hostname web.freeola.co.uk.

If you have your broadband connection with Freeola, you are able to request that a reverse DNS PTR record in put is place for your Internet IP by raising a support ticket.

SOA Record - (Start of Authority Record)

Type of DNS Record

The SOA (Start of Authority) record on your domain name provides some basic information about the nameservers such as the primary nameserver, how often the nameservers are updated, when they were last updated and when to check back for more information.

SPF Record - (Sender Policy Framework Record)

Type of DNS Record

SPF records are a type of TXT record which are used for anti-spam purposes. If you have an SPF record assigned to your domain name, you can use this to tell recipient email providers that check this record which servers to accept email from. An example of an SPF record is as follows:

freeolamail.com "v=spf1 include:spf.freeola.net ~all" [TTL: 3600]

This is a TXT record for freeolamail.com. The actual SPF record is text part of the record ("v=spf1 include:spf.freeola.net ~all"). In this case, the record shows to check the spf record on spf.freeola.net for allowed senders.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change SPF Records from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. To change your SPF records, you will need to select 'Create/Modify TXT and SPF records' and follow the on screen instructions.

SRV Record - (Service Record)

Type of DNS Record

SRV records are used to provide connection details for a service. For example:

  • Name: freeola.com
  • Service: _sip
  • Protocol: _tls
  • Port: 443
  • Weight: 1
  • Priority: 100
  • Target: sip.freeola.com
  • TTL: 86400

If this SRV record were in place, it would tell anyone that looked up how to connect to the sip service via tls on freeola.com that they would need to connect to sip.freeola.com on port 443.

TXT Record - (Text Record)

Type of DNS Record

TXT records are generally used for SPF records or for adding miscellaneous information to your domain name for purposes such as verification. These consist of the hostname, the TTL value and a string of text.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change TXT Records from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. To change your TXT records, you will need to select 'Create/Modify TXT and SPF records' and follow the on screen instructions.

Web DNS Records

Type of DNS Record

Web DNS records are the A, AAAA or CNAME records assigned to your domain name and your domain name with the www alias and are looked up to display your website.

If your domain name is hosted with Freeola, you are able to change the web DNS records on your domain name from within your MyFreeola account. To do this you will need to select View/Edit Domain Details from the left hand navigation, tick the box beside your domain name, and click Change DNS.

You will then be given several options relating to the DNS settings that you are looking to change. To change your web DNS records, you will need to select 'Create/Modify Custom Web DNS Records' and follow the on screen instructions.

DNS - (Domain Name System)

DNS is a system designed to turn human-friendly hostnames into IP addresses. This means that instead of having to remember the IP address of a website, you can just remember the hostname. For example, to visit the Freeola website, you only need to remember freeola.com, rather then 93.174.140.78.

DNS Caching

When attempting to view a website, for example, freeola.com, the process from turning freeola.com into the address of the server is as follows.

Firstly, your computer connects to your ISP's DNS servers to request the web server's IP address. If this information isn't already cached on the DNS server, your ISP's nameserver will connect to any servers required to find the requested information and return the result.

To prevent this having to repeated every time the same lookup is run, the lookup results are stored by your ISP's DNS server for a period based on their server configuration and the TTL setting on the record being looked up. This is often around 24hrs, so if a DNS change has recently been made, it can take up to 24hrs before this takes full effect on the internet.

Domain Name Alias - (Subdomain)

A domain name alias is a prefix inserted before your domain name and separated with a dot, to form an new hostname. For example, using the www alias with freeola.com creates www.freeola.com, which is a hostname that can be used to access the freeola website.

Hostname - (Fully Qualified Domain Name)

In terms of DNS, a hostname refers to a string of text which can be used to lookup a record. For example, freeola.com might be the hostname that you would use to connect to the Freeola website, and when looked up, it would return the IP address of the Freeola web server. Another example might be mail.freeola.net which is the hostname of one of Freeola's mail servers. When looked up, this would return the IP address of that mail server.

IP Address - (IPv4 Address)

An IP address is the machine address used to connect to a computer on the internet. It makes it possible to a data packet to be sent onto the internet with just an IP address, and the packet reach the destination. The system works by passing the data packet though several routing systems which filter the address based on its range.

As IP is the standard addressing system used on the internet, to connect to another computer anywhere in the world, you need to first determine its IP address.

The current IP system in place is displayed as a numeric quad, with each number ranging from 0 to 255, for example 93.174.140.78. This system is called IPv4, however as the limited number of addresses is running out, it is being superseeded by IPv6 which has a much larger address pool.

IPv6 Address

IPv6 is the successor to IPv4 addressing and is in the process of being adopted across the internet

With IPv4, each address is displayed as a numeric quad, for example 93.174.140.78, whereas with IPv6 is represented by 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits, for example, 2a00:1450:4009:0809:0000:0000:0000:1009. This give a much greater number of possible combinations and addresses the issue with IPv4 where there is a shortage of addresses remaining.

It is possible to shorten the IPv6 address of 2a00:1450:4009:0809:0000:0000:0000:1009 for display purposes. This can be done by removing any leading zeros in each group. At any one point in the address, you are also able to replace one or more groups of zeros with a double colon. For example, the above address could be shortened to 2a00:1450:4009:809::1009.

ISP - (Internet Service Provider)

Although an Internet Service Provider is any provider of internet services, this term often refers to the provider of your internet connection. For example, if Freeola provides your internet connection, the term ISP would likely refer to Freeola.

NS Lookup - (Query, DNS Lookup, Nameserver Lookup)

An NS lookup refers to a single request sent to a DNS server to find DNS records.

Nameserver - (DNS, Domain Name Server, Domain Name System Server)

A nameserver refers to a DNS server that is programmed to respond to respond to DNS lookups.

There are two main types of DNS servers, those provided by your ISP and those that provide records for specific domain names.

The DNS servers provided by your ISP are designed so when you run a lookup, for example the A record of freeola.com, the nameserver will connect to any servers required to find this A record, then cache the result before responding. Any further lookups will then return the cached information until it is cleared.

The other DNS server type is designed to just respond to certain requests to set domain names. Any domain name hosted on the internet will have ns records in place pointing to one or more nameservers of this type. These server would then hold any subsequent records specific for the domain name. For example ns3.freeola.net is one of Freeola's nameservers and holds DNS records for freeola.com, including the A record required to display the website. When anyone attempts to display the Freeola website, their ISP's DNS servers will connect to one of Freeola's nameservers and request this record.

Parent Nameserver

Type of Nameserver Record

Parent nameservers are nameservers which hold ns records for other nameservers. More specifically, they hold ns records for the nameservers which are the next layer down and should be able to handle other DNS request for the specified domain name.

For example, the parent nameservers of freeola.com, would be the nameservers of com. If you were to connect to the com nameservers, you would be able to run a lookup which would provide you with the current ns records for freeola.com.

TTL - (Time To Live)

TTL is a value provided with DNS records and is used to refer to the number of seconds that a record should be cached.

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